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Class A Boys Hockey State Semifinal Warroad 5, Mahtomedi 4 OT

Posted: Friday, March 11, 2022 - 3:08 PM

Boys Hockey State Tournament hits the ice this week

Warroad ended a 13-year dry spell of championship game appearances on Friday, March 11, 2022, with a thrilling 5-4 victory in overtime over Mahtomedi in the first Class A semifinals of the Minnesota State High School League’s Boys Hockey State Tournament at the Xcel Energy Center.

First-line junior center Matt Hard sent the No. 2-seeded Warriors (26-3-1) into the Class A championship game for the first time since a runner-up finish in 2009, on a power-play goal 2 minutes, 39 seconds into the extra session. Senior center Damion Gardner scored three goals and junior Jayson Shaugabay had a goal and three assists to fuel the Warriors who are seeking their first state championship since 2005.

Warroad is in the state tournament for the 23rd time in program history.

Gardner and Shaugabay each had goals in the second period to rally the Warriors, who twice battled back from two-goal deficits. The 4-all deadlock couldn’t be settled in the third period which then required an overtime session.

Junior left wing Charlie Drage and senior center Brent Guienchyn had two goals each for the No. 3-seeded Zephyrs (17-12-1). Drage also had an assist.

Warroad opened the scoring with Gardner on an unassisted goal four minutes into the period. Mahtomedi tied it up on a goal from Drage midway through the period and would take the lead when Guienchyn scored unassisted on a power play. Warroad evened things up before the first period was done, however, as Gardner scored with only 13 seconds remaining.

The second period proved to be just as action-packed, with four more goals being scored throughout. Goals thirty seconds apart from Gulenchyn and Drage put the Zephyrs ahead 4-2. The Warriors got the game within one on a power-play goal from Gardner and would tie things up with a goal from Shaugabay.

The third period was scoreless, with each goalie making some clutch saves to maintain the tie, sending it to overtime. The Warriors were awarded a power play early in overtime, and Hard capitalized, finishing passes from Carson Reed and Shaugabay to win it.

Senior goalie Ben Dardis finished the game with an impressive 35 saves for the Zephyrs and junior Hampton Slukynsky would earn the win in net for the Warriors, logging 18 saves on the day.

Mahtomedi will play in the third-place game on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. at the Xcel Center, which will be followed by the championship at noon, where Warroad will take on either Hermantown or Alexandria.

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Class A Boys Hockey State Semifinal Hermantown 7, Alexandria Area 1