Benilde completes emotional season as hockey champs

  • Article by: PAUL KLAUDA
  • Updated: March 10, 2012 - 10:39 PM
hide

Grant Besse was the big scorer for Benilde-St. Margaret's Saturday in the Class 2A hockey final against Hill-Murray.

Photo: Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Benilde-St. Margaret’s hockey coach Ken Pauly handled the seating chart for the postgame press conference.

“Besse, you’re going to want to be near a microphone,” Pauly said.

Besse treated Minnesota high school hockey fans to a performance among the greatest ever seen in 68 years of state tournament play.

He scored five goals, three of them shorthanded, to fuel Benilde-St. Margaret’s 5-1 victory against Hill-Murray in Saturday’s Class 2A championship at the Xcel Energy Center.

“I didn’t really know what to do,” Besse said of digesting the weight of his fifth goal. “I had to check back into reality and take in everything.”

Benilde-St. Margaret’s won its third state title in school history and first since opting up to Class 2A before the 2005-06 season. Saturday’s victory ended an emotional season on the ultimate high.

Sophomore Jack Jablonski suffered severe a spinal cord injury in a Dec. 30 junior varsity game. He was checked from behind into the boards and doctors have said he will not regain the use of his legs. His ordeal garnered national attention and led to mid-season changes to the penalty structure of Minnesota high school hockey.

Jablonski parked his motorized wheelchair in the family’s suite above the Benilde-St. Margaret’s student section on Saturday and cheered on his teammates. He joined them in the locker room after the game.

Pauly said the victory validated the talent flowing through the roster.

“What gets lost is that this is a talented hockey team,” Pauly said. He felt his team could make this sort of run but “did not imagine it would end in this fashion.”

Besse, a junior forward, gave Red Knights supporters much to cheer about and remember. He finished the season with 52 goals.

Each of Saturday's five goals was seemingly more electrifying than the one before. He struck twice within two minutes in the first period. On the second goal, a Hill-Murray clearing attempt hit Besse’s skates. He kept the puck and scored from close range.

“Once Grant scores a couple goals you know they are going to keep coming and coming,” forward Christian Horn said.

Besse completed the hat trick – but not his remarkable evening – with a shorthanded goal in the second period. Horn started the play by blocking Jake Guentzel’s shot from just inside the blue line, chasing down the puck and relaying it out to Besse for the breakaway.

“He had an exceptional night,” Hill-Murray coach Bill Lechner said. “He made the puck bounce his way and took advantage of his opportunities.”

Guentzel set up Zach LaValle’s power-play goal early in the period to cut the lead to 3-1. The Pioneers got another chance as Benilde-St. Margaret’s captain Jake Horton was ejected for spearing. The Red Knights were assessed a five-minute major penalty and would remain shorthanded for the full five minutes.

Instead, Besse produced another dramatic scene. He broke away with the puck and buried a goal to put his team ahead 4-1. The Pioneers still had four minutes and 48 seconds on the major penalty but it did not matter.

“That was a back-breaker,” Lechner said. “We came a little bit unglued tonight, even the coaching staff.”

Besse still was not done. He scored his third shorthanded goal at 14:03, triggering more bedlam and further ensuring his place among tournament lore.

“He wrote himself into tournament history,” Pauly said.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Toronto 2:30 PM
LA Clippers
Boston 6:00 PM
Washington
Orlando 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Memphis 6:30 PM
Miami
Indiana 7:00 PM
Brooklyn
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Chicago
Atlanta 7:30 PM
Milwaukee
Philadelphia 8:00 PM
Utah
New York 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Minnesota 9:30 PM
Golden State
NY Islanders 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Detroit 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Carolina 6:00 PM
Tampa Bay
New Jersey 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Boston 6:00 PM
Columbus
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Minnesota
Washington 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Dallas 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Nashville
Anaheim 7:00 PM
Arizona
Chicago 8:00 PM
Colorado
Edmonton 9:00 PM
Calgary
San Jose 9:00 PM
Los Angeles
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 27 2nd Half 15:47
Jacksonville 37
Kentucky 22 2nd Half
Louisville 18
Northern Ky 3 1st Half 19:00
Northwestern 0
UAB 3:00 PM
North Carolina
IUPUI 3:00 PM
Pepperdine
Santa Clara 3:00 PM
St Marys-CA
Oakland 4:00 PM
Maryland
Gonzaga 5:00 PM
BYU
Mercer 5:00 PM
Georgia
San Francisco 5:00 PM
Pacific
Wright State 6:00 PM
Ohio State
Presbyterian 6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Brescia 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Tennessee St 7:30 PM
Tennessee
Kennesaw St 8:00 PM
Illinois
Colorado State 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Portland 8:00 PM
San Diego
Wayland Baptist 8:05 PM
Utah State
Bristol University 8:05 PM
Weber State
Sacramento St 8:05 PM
Utah Valley U
Southern Utah 9:00 PM
UNLV
SD Christian 9:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 10 3rd Qtr 10:00
Virginia Tech 20
(15) Arizona State 13 2nd Qtr 11:54
Duke 3
Miami-Florida 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
SMU 45 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 96
UCF 0 1st Half 20:00
Houston 0
BYU 4:00 PM
Gonzaga
Pacific 4:00 PM
San Francisco
St Marys-CA 4:00 PM
Santa Clara
San Diego 7:00 PM
Portland

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite Gophers head coach?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close