Lumberjacks get back on winning track
No. 18A Cloquet/Esko/Carlton 3, Sartell-St. Stephen 2
Cloquet/Esko/Carlton scored twice in the game’s late stages to take down Sartell-Stephen 3-2, ending a 4-game losing streak. The Lumberjacks improved to 11-13-0 on the season and will finish the regular season on Saturday against No. 15AA Roseau. CEC will likely finish third in Section 7A behind Hibbing/Chisholm and Hermantown. Sartell fell to 16-6-1 and will take a trip to Buffalo on Tuesday then the Sabres will finish the regular season at home against Gentry Academy. The Sabres have one more section 8AA opponent on the schedule when they face Buffalo, but Sartell will more than likely end the season in third place in the section.
Cloquet/Esko/Carlton came out flying in the first period, holding Sartell to no shots for eight minutes and ending the first period outshooting the Sabres 8-3 after the first. Noah Hacker was sharp in net after the first period stopping all eight shots, and keeping it a 0-0 game into the second period.
In the second period, it was Sartell who started hot, scoring the first goal of the game. Kyan Rieder found a loose puck behind CEC’s goalie James Halverson and stuffed it in taking a 1-0 lead. The initial shot came off the blade of Connor Anderson who was credited with the assist for the Sabres. Just three minutes later, the Lumberjacks had their answer when Grady Knutson scored on a shot from the slot assisted by Ryan Jones.
The game was tied 1-1 in the third period as both teams struggled to find scoring chances early in the period until Sartell took the lead back. Shaun Paulson took a shot from the faceoff circle that slid right through the five-hole of Halverson and gave the Sabres a 2-1 lead. Sartell’s Caden Vos was called for checking from behind and given a five-minute major penalty. The untimely penalty by the Sabres came back to bite them, as Karson Young netted a power play goal from the point and tied the game at 1-1. CEC made the most of the major penalty, scoring another power-play goal just about a minute later as Knutson scored his second of the game. Lumberjacks’ goalie Halverson made some huge saves in the last few seconds and helped CEC to a win over Sartell. Hacker made 23 saves on 26 shots for Sartell between the pipes. Hacker, a senior goalie for Sartell has been very reliable all season, sporting a .926 save percentage, 2.05 goals against average, and has four shutouts on the season.
No. 6AA Maple Grove 3, No. 10AA St. Thomas Academy 0
Maple Grove’s goaltender Zach Price was the MVP of the night stopping all 45 shots he saw, yes 45 shots, helping the Crimson take down St. Thomas Academy 3-0. Maple Grove improves their season record to 17-5-0 and will face Lakeville South on Saturday. With no more section games remaining for Maple Grove, and holding the tiebreaker over Centennial, the Crimson will likely end up first in Section 5AA. The Cadets fell to 14-7-2 on the season and will face No. 16AA Hill-Murray on Saturday.
After a scoreless first period, Andrew Karkoc scored twice in the second frame, both assisted by Owen Smith. The Crimson held a 2-0 lead into the third period, and Karkoc completed the hattrick when he scored at the 6:36 mark of the third period. David Kukkonen had the lone assist on Karkoc’s goal. Maple Grove’s junior goalie Price improved his season numbers, as he sports a 1.68 goals against average, and 0.935 save percentage and he has five shutouts now on the season. He will be a goalie to watch for the Crimson as they try to get back to St. Paul.
No. 20AA Gentry Academy 4, No. 17AA Holy Family 1
Gentry Academy wins their third straight game after taking down Holy Family 4-1. During the Stars’ three-game winning streak, they’ve scored 20 goals and allowed just three. They now have a record of 18-5-0 on the year and face Robbingdale Armstrong/Cooper on Thursday. Holy Family fell to 14-6-1 on the season and faces Champlin Park on Saturday.
In the first period, Dakota Bailey scored at the 4:37 mark, assisted by Justin O’Brochta. The second period started with goals from Ryder Betzold and Eli Bailey as Gentry Academy held a 3-0 lead into the third period. Holden Pajor got Holy Family on the board in the final frame, but Easton Rooney added to the Stars’ lead as Grenty took down Holy Family.
No. 13AA Rogers 9, Spring Lake Park 0
Parker Deschene scored twice for Rogers in their big 9-0 win over Spring Lake Park. Rogers improved to 15-6-2 on the season and plays Duluth East on Saturday.
No. 2AA Edina 5, Buffalo 3
Mason West and Ryan Flaherty both scored twice as Edina took down Buffalo 5-3. The Hornets improved to 19-2-1 on the season and will face rival No. 1AA Minnetonka on Saturday.
Elk River/Zimmerman 7, No. 8AA Centennial 5
Elk River/Zimmerman scored three goals in the first and third period en route to a big upset 7-5 win over Centennial. The Elk’s improved to 13-9-1 while Centennial fell to 14-6-2 on the year.
No. 9AA Eden Prairie 9, St. Michael-Albertville 1
No. 8A Mahtomedi 5, Hastings 0
No. 17A La Crescent-Hokah 6, Onalaska/La Crosse 2
No. 19A Northern Lakes 5, Moose Lake Area 0
No. 20A Southwest Christian/Richfield 4, Mound Westonka 0
No. 7A Monticello 4, Cambridge-Isanti 1
No. 5A Orono 4, St. Louis Park 2