Top-ranked and No. 1 seed Hill-Murray came back to defeat No. 4 seed Wayzata for a 2-1 victory in Friday’s Class 2A boys’ hockey state tournament semifinal at the Xcel Energy Center, earning a spot against Edina in the title game Saturday.
Trailing 1-0 until the second half of the third period, the Pioneers got goals from Davis Zarembinksi and Ryan Black less than three minutes apart. Wayzata fired a few late shots on goal but none found their mark.
Saturday’s title game against Edina is a rematch of the 2008 championship game, a 3-0 Hill-Murray victory.
Wayzata coach Pat O’Leary considers his team one of the state’s best in the third period but Hill-Murray proved its resiliency as well.
“What did I tell them in the third period? Nothing,” Hill-Murray coach Bill Lechner said. “The seniors ran the show. These guys never quit. They believe and I’m happy for them.”
Wayzata’s Chase Haller scored on a power-play goal at 6:44 of the second period. Haller negated an earlier Trojans power-play goal after getting called for a goal crease violation.
Wayzata senior goaltender Aaron Dingmann set an early tone for his strong evening, stopping a puck that had been passed between three Pioneers players in quick succession.
He later made a save on a Pioneers’ 2-on-1 charge, drawing chants of “Ding-er” from the Trojans’ student section.
“He’s the real deal but we knew if we kept getting shots we could crack him,” Black said.
Hill-Murray finally got on the board at 9:33 of the third period.
Zarembinksi, who scored the lone goal of the Pioneers’ section final victory against White Bear Lake, shot a puck past Dingmann.
Black added one that gave Hill-Murray a 2-1 lead at 12:30.
“We played well the first part of the third but we allowed them to get shots that teams don’t normally get against us,” O’Leary said.