Jacob Garski is Grand Rapids’ leading scorer with 10-26-36. LPH File Photo.

Grand Rapids comes back from a 2-0 deficit to take down Andover in double overtime

Section 7AA

No. 1 Seed Grand Rapids 3, No. 2 Seed Andover 2

Seth Carlson scored two huge goals for Grand Rapids as the Thunderhawks head back to the State Tournament for the first time since winning the title in 2017. Grand Rapids battled out a close 3-2 double overtime win over Andover on Thursday evening. 

Andover got the scoring started in the first period when Keaton Coe scored on the power play assisted by Ben Doll and Chase Nadeau. The Huskies held onto the 1-0 lead after the first period and added a very early second-period goal. Just 43 seconds into the middle frame, Brooks Cogswell scored for Andover, extending their lead to 2-0. 

Grand Rapids netted their first goal of the game just minutes after the Huskies’ second goal. Gus Drennen scored for the Thunderhawks at the 3:44 mark of the period, assisted by Seth Carlson and Anthony Pardo. With two periods in the books, Andover led 2-1 over Grand Rapids. 

Just 40 seconds into the third period, Carlson scored his first of two goals, tying the game at 2-2. The two Section 7AA teams battled for a chance to play at the X but neither could find another goal after three periods. The two needed overtime to find a winner. 

Both teams showcased their defensive prowess in the first overtime period, not giving the other team much space to work with, resulting in only six total shots. Andover led 4-2 in that category after nobody found twine in the OT period, so a fifth period was necessary for a winner. 

Luka Rohloff pictured is a Junior defenseman for Grand Rapids. LPH File Photo.

It only took one shot for Grand Rapids to punch their ticket to St. Paul when Carlson fought for the loose puck and sneaked it past Andover goalie Carter Casey. Carlson scored his second of the game, which was the Sophomore’s 11th of the season.  

After a 3-2 double overtime win, the Thunderhawks will try to replicate their 2017 run to a state title. 

Section 5AA

Harper Searles (above) and Heath Nelson both have 61 points for Centennial, a formidable dynamic duo who will be fun to watch at the X next week.

No. 2 Seed Centennial 5, No. 1 Seed Maple Grove 2

Centennial punched their ticket to the State Tournament after taking down top-seeded Maple Grove 5-2 on Thursday. The Cougars will return to St. Paul for the first time since 2018 after going 19-7-2. 

Centennial played like the better team from the start. It took a while to find the first goal, but the Cougars came ready to play. Their first goal came off Heath Nelson’s stick as he gave Centennial a 1-0 lead over halfway into the game. Maple Grove responded with a goal of their own a couple of minutes later when Lucas Busch scored to tie the game, assisted by Andrew Karkoc and Logan Lutner. Although the game was tied after one period, Centennial outshot the Crimson 15-9. 

The Cougars broke through in the middle frame after Maple Grove got into penalty trouble, capitalizing on two goals.  Nelson scored his second unassisted goal of the evening, this time on the power play to give the Cougars a 2-1 lead. Then just over a minute later, Nick Carls scored another power play goal, extending the Cougars lead to 3-1 after two periods. 

Maple Grove came out in the third period with some juice, finally putting together some good chances, but seeing minimal success. On the contrary, Centennial netted two more goals. Harper Searles and Joey Hemr both scored seconds apart as they took a demanding 5-1 lead with under seven minutes remaining. The Crimson did get on the board late in the period when David Kukkonen scored assisted by Owen Smith. Easton Cody stood tall in the final frame to help secure the 5-2 Centennial win over Maple Grove. 

Section 4A

Defending champion Mahtomedi earned a return trip to state with a 3-2 overtime win over Southwest Christian/Richfield. LPH PHOTO BY MIKE THILL

No. 1 Seed Mahtomedi 3, No. 2 Seed Southwest Christian/Richfield 2

The defending state champion Mahtomedi Zephyrs returns to the Xcel Energy Center for the third straight year as they try to defend their title. The Zephyrs took down second-seed Southwest Christian/Richfield 3-2 in overtime to punch their ticket to state.

SWC got on board first when Jared Greiner netter a power play goal, assisted by Eli Hoffman and Paul Hornor. It stayed that way until the third  when Mahtomedi’s Jake Hodd-Chlebeck tied it, assisted by Sam Harris and Gene Wegleitner. Harris scored later in the period to put the Zephyrs up 2-1, but just a little more than a minute later SWC’s Greiner scored his second fo the game while short handed to tie it with 2:31 to play.

The game ended 2-2. But it didn’t take long for Harris to get the game winner and send the Zephyrs back to St. Paul where they will be looking for their third state title in four years.

Mahtomedi outshot SWC 42-28. SWC put up a valiant fight against the defending champions.

Mahtomedi will head into St. Paul with a 17-11-0 record and are red hot, winning nine of their last ten games, dating back to Jan. 29.

Wes Strub stopped 26 shots for the Zephyrs.