Karen Muscha scored 26 seconds into Thursday’s game to help Alexandria get off to great start. LPH FILE PHOTO

 

Cardinals defeat Northern Lakes 6-1

Alexandria punched their ticket to the Xcel Energy Center for the third straight year after a 6-1 win over Northern Lakes.

The Cardinals won their 18th game of the season and now have won their past seven games, dating back to early February when they beat St. Cloud 5-4. Alexandria has peaked at the right time after a slower start to the season and they repeat as Section 6A champions.

Alexandria struck early, getting a goal by Kasen Muscha just 26 seconds into the game, assisted by Evan Anderson and Evan Klimek. After an evenly played first period, Alexandria held a 1-0 lead. The shots were close at 10-8 in favor of the Cardinals.

The second period was all Alexandria. It started early for the Cardinals as Anderson scored just over two minutes into the middle frame, assisted by Aiden Schneiderhan and Klimik. Alex led 2-0 midway through the period when they extended their lead to 3-0 over the Lightning. Leonard Kompelien scored on the power play assisted by Gage Castle and Gavin Olson.

 

Alexandria was up 3-0 midway through the period, but they weren’t finished. Castle scored a goal over 12 minutes into the second period and Niklas Schultz scored not too long after that to give Alex a demanding 5-0 lead after two periods. The Cardinals controlled the pace of play for most of the middle frame, outshooting Northern Lakes 15-1 for a two-period total of 25-9.

Alexandria goalie Brady Metcalf has posted a solid .921 save percentage and will lead the Cardinals into the state tournament for the third straight year. 

Down 5-0 in the third period, Northern Lakes needed to score and score quickly. While they scored, it wasn’t quick, as the Lighting put their first goal past Brady Metcalf just under eight minutes into the third period. The late goal wasn’t enough to spark some momentum from Northern Lakes as they allowed another Alexandria goal later in the period. Anderson completed a massive section final performance with his second goal of the game, securing the 6-1 win for Alexandria. Anderson had five points for the Cards, with two goals and three assists.

The Cardinals are in search of their first boys hockey state title in program history, reaching the title game once in their seven trips.