Hawks prevail in battle of top Class A foes
Top-ranked Hermantown traveled to St. Cloud Thursday night to battle No. 3A St. Cloud Cathedral. The Hawks have maintained the top spot for much of the season, and held onto it with a 3-1 win in a back-and-forth battle between two of the top Class A teams in the state.
Hermantown defenseman Drew Nelson scored in the first period when he fired a shot from outside the circle past St. Cloud Cathedral netminder Keaton LeGrande for a 1-0 lead.
The teams skated to a scoreless second period where LeGrande stood tall, stopping all 10 Hermantown shots. Cathedral managed just four shots in the period and had a hard time penetrating the Hermantown defense to produce any scoring opportunities.
It took until after the 13-minute mark of the third and a two-man advantage for the Crusaders to tie it. Griffin Sturm received the puck at the point and skated into the high slot where he shoveled a pass to Joey Gillespie. Gillespie slid the puck to Andrew Dwinnell on the air post who taped a pass to Cole Hwang in front of the net, who buried it for a 1-1 tie.
But Hermantown answered just over 90 seconds later when Bode Madill scored from the high slot to make it a 2-1 game. The Crusaders had one scrum in front of the net late, but were denied by senior goalie Dane Callaway. The Hawks mustered an empty-netter with one second remaining to secure the win.
Hermantown won the shots battle 26-18. LeGrande was solid in goal for the Crusaders with 23 saves.
The Hawks improved to 10-2-2 on the season and remained undefeated against Class A opponents. They will host No. 2A Warroad on Saturday. St. Cloud Cathedral fell to 11-4-1 and will take on Mankato East Saturday.
#7AA Andover 2, Centennial 2
Centennial worked out a tough 2-2 tie with No. 7AA Andover thanks to a third-period goal by Heath Nelson. Andover led 2-1 after Landon Stringfellow scored three minutes into the third period to break a 1-1 tie. Andover’s Ben Doll got the scoring started in the first and Centennial’s Cooper Hehir tied it in the second.
Andover won the shots battle 36-28, including seven in overtime. Centennial‘s Easton Cody was up to the task with 34 saves on the night. Andover’s Cal Conway was equally impressive with 26 stops. Centennial is now 3-0-1 in their last four games after suffering a three-game losing streak. They will travel to Blaine Saturday. Andover is now 9-5-1 and will host Totino Grace Saturday.
# 12AA Rogers 6, #14AA Champlin Park 4
Rogers earned another hard-fought win with a 6-4 victory over Champlin Park. The Royals are now 10-4-2 and will take on Osseo next Thursday. Champlin Park fell to 8-6-1 and will travel to Elk River Saturday.
Brandon Swanson’s goal broke a 2-2 tie early in the third period and Parker Deschene and Drew Krekelberg followed with goals for a 5-2 cushion for the Royals. Champlin’s Cole Perkins made it 5-3, but Mason Wanka scored just a few seconds later for a 6-3 lead and eventually a 6-4 win.
Rogers outshot the Rebels 33-28.
#13AA Eden Prairie 2, #6AA Benilde-St. Margaret’s 0
Isaiah Paulnock made 31 saves as No. 13AA Eden Prairie shut out No. 6AA Benilde-St. Margaret’s. The Red Knights outshot the Eagles 31-22, but Eden Prairie got a pair of third-period goals from Alex Hall, one an empty netter with 40 seconds left to seal the win. Eden Prairie improved to 8-4-1 and will host St. Michael-Albertville Saturday while Benilde-St. Margaret’s fell to 10-3-1 and will travel to Chaska next Thursday.
#15AA White Bear Lake 3, Park of Cottage Grove 2
Tyler Lalonde scored with one second left in regulation to break a 2-2 tie and give White Bear Lake the victory Thursday night at TCO Sports Garden. Park took a 2-0 lead on goals by Owen Corkish and Jackson Gear. White Bear’s Nolan Roed scored on a power play to make it 2-1 and then Vinnie Villella tied in 6:43 into the third period. Lalonde then went top shelf from a tough angle as time expired to give the Bears the big win.
White Bear Lake improved to 8-3-1 and will take on Woodbury Saturday night. Park of Cottage Grove are now 7-6-0 and will travel to take on Cretin-Derham Hall Saturday.
#1AA Minnetonka 4, Buffalo 0
The top-ranked Skippers outshot Buffalo 42-15 and got two goals each from Ashton Schultz and Gavin Garry to improve to 13-0-1 on the season. They will travel to Duluth Saturday to take on Duluth East.