Wayzata failed over and over and then some to end Centennial's shutout streak in the state tournament.
The magic that lasted for 14 periods, 15-minutes and 45-seconds nearly made Wayzata its next victim. Then the Trojans overwhelmed the Cougars with their own late-game magic to force overtime and claim a 2-1 victory on Chase Heising's goal 4:01 into the extra period.
Wayzata went 49-minutes, 45-seconds without scoring on Thursday night at Xcel Energy Center, although once the puck finally touched the net, momentum for more was theirs. Wayzata's Jalen Wahl's motivation to make up a missed opportunity finally got the puck past Centennial's goaltender Patrick Munson. Wahl scored with 75 seconds left in the third period just moments after missing a loose puck in front of a mostly open net.
"I vowed I wanted to come back and take us to overtime," Wahl said. "I wasn't going to miss that opportunity to keep us going."
Adam Anderson scored Centennial's lone goal in the first minute of the second period. The Cougars appeared to take a 2-0 lead late in the second period. Anderson celebrated his shot that crept through the legs of Wayzata goaltender Aaron Dingmann. Replays showed the puck crossed most of the goal-line before Dingmann reached back and pulled it out. An extended review of the play, however, called it no goal.
That was one of Dingmann's 28 saves on a night he got knocked around. Centennial forward Andrew Bertrand knocked the goaltender to the ice twice and Connor Novick provided another. Dingmann laid on the ice for about a minute after the first and Wayzata coach Pat O'Leary was unsure if he would get up. He did, though, all three times.
"I think that's the first three times this year I've gotten knocked over, blatantly kind of," Dingmann said. "I thought the first ones was kind of funny cause I didn't see him coming and he just knocked the wind out of me and I was just down there kind of flailing around, I couldn't breathe."
Heising said he expected to see Dingmann get back up and perform. He'd done it all year.
It's been nine years since either team skated in the state tournament. In 2004 Centennial defeated Wayzata 3-0 in the semifinals on route to a state championship built by shutouts.
Munson had this impressive feat in mind entering the tournament. Former Centennial coach Erik Aus stopped the goaltender in the hall through the week reminding him the Cougars don't given up goals at state.
"I had it on my mind at the end of the game. It didn't work out in our favor."
Duluth East hangs on
Having heard the final horn just before the puck arrived, Moorhead’s Aaron Herdt stood frozen in place, his stick cocked and ready to deliver a tying goal.
It became the final missed opportunity in the Spuds’ 1-0 loss to No. 2 seed Duluth East in Thursday’s first Class 2A boys’ hockey state tournament quarterfinal at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
“If we had one more second on the clock, who knows,” Herdt said. “Maybe we’d still be out there playing.”
For Duluth East forward Ryan Lundgren, one of five Greyhounds skaters tasked with stopping Moorhead’s final charge, the game could not have ended soon enough. The Spuds pulled their goalie with 40 seconds remaining and a faceoff in Duluth East’s zone, pitting an extra skater and some late-game desperation against the Greyhounds’ resolve.
“We’re a defensive team and our forwards know how to block shots so we packed it in,” Lundgren said. “I tried blocking a shot at the end. I’ll do anything for these guys. I love these guys.”
After a scoreless opening period, junior forward Jack Kolar scored for Duluth East at 1:13 of the second period. He took a pass from Alex Toscano just inside the blue line and beat Spuds’ goaltender Jacob Dittmer with a wrist shot.
The Greyhounds outshot Moorhead 30-12 and out-hit the Spuds as well. Senior defenseman Andrew Kerr knocked Nicolas Uglem from the game in the second period with a legal check.
“He’s one of our big four,” Moorhead coach Pete Cullen said. “It hurts to lose a senior captain. We had to scramble to get some magic back and I thought we did.”
DAVID LA VAQUE
Hurley's hat trick powers Edina
Lakeville North aspires to do what Edina did to them Thursday afternoon at Xcel Energy Center.
The Panthers watched in awe as the Hornets quickly disposed of any hope Lakeville North clung to. A five-goal second period and Connor Hurley's hat trick stole the Panthers' life. This surge of offense was the difference in Edina's 9-3 Class 2A quarterfinal victory.
"It's a pretty good complement. What can you say, it's great to hear. It surprised me a little bit." Hurley said about the Hornets being a role model. "We came out really fast [in the second period] and were chipping the puck behind [the defense] and using our legs to get behind them and making plays and getting puck on net."
For a period, Lakeville North managed to stay close to the No. 3 seed. Edina scored the first two goals and Lakeville North crept back with a goal before the first intermission.
The Hornets returned inspired and the Panthers' first-hand lesson commenced.
A pair of redirections by Bo Brauer and Dylan Malmquist (two goals, one assist) to start the second period gave the Hornets a 4-1 lead and comfort. The blowout ensued.
Hurley added goals two and three within 27 seconds of each other and before the Panthers could catch their breath the Hornets' led 6-1.
Hurley's speed and awareness created opportunities for the hat trick. The junior forward pushed the puck from his own zone and passed three defenders to collect a third goal. He also had one assist.
Hurley wasn't the only one wearing a hat. Lakeville North's Nick Poehling had a hat trick, earning No. 3 in the final minutes of the game.
"My hope is that … for our young guys, which we have a bunch on the team, to see the way they prepared and the way they competed," Lakeville North coach Trent Eigner said. "We understood the repercussions of playing soft or making mistakes. Unfortunately that little stretch in the second period really took the wind out of our sails. But I think our kids can take something away from it."
The Panthers' struggled against ranked opponents this year. In 15 tries, they won one and tied one.
Lakeville North's third state appearance in the last four years was earned with another sub-.500 record. The 2013 season produced the worst of the four. The Panthers entered state with an 11-16-1 record.
"I don't think we looked at them any different," Edina's Parker Reno said. "They were in the state tournament, so they're a good team."
Hill-Murray tops Eastview
Top-ranked and No. 1 state tournament seed Hill-Murray barred the door but Eastivew kept sneaking in windows throughout the Pioneers’ 6-3 quarterfinal victory Thursday.
“We felt confident but Eastview fought and battled,” Pioneers coach Bill Lechner said.
The game seemed headed for a lopsided result. Hill-Murray led 2-0 after the first period on goals from seniors CJ LaChappelle and Zach LaValle.
Those goals overshadowed a tremendous glove save by Lightning goaltender Zachary Driscoll.
Driscoll, whose solid sophomore season helped Eastview to its first state tournament in 12 years, gave up two more goals early in a lively second period.
Hill-Murray led 3-0 after Colten Greeder went hard to the Eastview net and buried a pass from Zach Mills just one minute and 40 seconds into the period. LaValle added his second goal less than one minute later.
With his team ahead 4-0, Lechner started loosening the rotation and giving more players ice time. Meanwhile, Eastview captain Mitch Beattie reminded teammates to turn their focus away from the scoreboard and look into their hearts.
Then the Lightning struck. Twice. Goals from Keith Muehlbauer and Mitchell Cerrato cut the Hill-Murray lead in half at 4-2.
Mitch Slattery restored a 5-2 Pioneers lead and capped a wild, five-goal second period.
Eastview got one final charge as Brett Schweiger scored at 7:20 of the third period to make it 5-3.
Lechner joked the two-goal lead caused him “to lose more hair.” LaValle said players did not panic.
“We knew they would fight back,” said LaValle, a veteran of four state tournaments. “This is the state tournament and no one is going to let up.”
Hill-Murray took control with Sam Becker’s goal from the blue line at 11:01 of the final period.
DAVID La VAQUE