New Ulm (17-8-1) vs. Mahtomedi (No. 1, 21-6-1), 6 p.m.
Scouting the Eagles: Forget about New Ulm Strong or Eagles Strong. How about Landon Strong? The senior forward has scored seven goals in the playoffs, and 11 of his 18 goals have come in the Eagles’ last four games. The 6-3, 225-pound Strong scored three consecutive goals, two of them shorthanded, in the second period as New Ulm rallied from a three-goal deficit to beat Hutchinson 6-4 in the section championship.
Scouting the Zephyrs: Mahtomedi, making its third consecutive appearance, features a veteran lineup with the glaring exception of goaltender Ben Dardis, a 5-6, 140-pound freshman who started the season playing a month of Bantam AA hockey in the Mahtomedi youth system before making the varsity squad. He had a 22-save shutout of Totino-Grace in the section final. Junior forwards Colin Hagstrom (17 goals) and Nikolai Dulak (15 goals) rank among the team’s best pure snipers. In 10 previous appearances, the Zephyrs have never advanced past the semifinals.
Worth knowing: New Ulm has a goalie capable of single-handedly stealing games in senior Jack Raymond, who owns school career records for shutouts (14) and saves (1,900).