High-powered offense can't break St. Thomas

  • Article by: BRIAN STENSAAS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 10, 2012 - 1:22 AM

Lone goal holds up in showdown of explosive teams.

One goal for every seven shots. In a perfect world, that's Les Larson's mathematical hope for Breck's boys' hockey team.

"We played 51 minutes; I'm proud of our kids," Larson said. "But you have to accept the result. They were just a little bit better than us."

"They" as in defending Class 1A champion St. Thomas Academy, which returned to the title game with a 1-0 semifinal victory over the Mustangs on Friday at Xcel Energy Center.

Breck had scored 225 goals this season, more than any other team in the program's distinguished history. Breck hadn't been shut out since an 8-0 drubbing by Class 2A Hill-Murray on Dec. 29, 2010.

But none of the 25 shots on STA goaltender David Zevnik could solve the defensive system of the Cadets, who enter Saturday's championship having not given up more than one goal in a game since Jan. 26.

Zevnik has stopped all 35 shots he's faced in two games.

"[The defense] does a great job of clearing guys out," Zevnik said. "I was able to see all of the shots."

The only goal came with just under three minutes to play in the second period. Defenseman Tony Bretzman grabbed a Breck turnover in the neutral zone, sped down the ice and threaded a pass through two Mustangs to Peter Kreiger, who tapped in his 15th goal of the season.

After the teams combined for 14 goals in their quarterfinal games, neither coach expected Kreiger's goal to be the only one.

"I thought there'd be six or seven goals," Cadets coach Greg Vannelli said. "But the way it's been going with us, our solid defense and goaltending, [the 1-0 game] doesn't surprise me, but I didn't expect it."

Breck missed out on a breakaway and hit two pipes in the third period.

"Our guys wanted this thing," Larson said.

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