The state boys' hockey tournament began Tuesday with the Class A quarterfinal games at the Xcel Energy Center. Gentry Academy, East Grand Forks, Dodge County and Little Falls were the Day's winners.
Little Falls 2, Delano 1
Little Falls edged Delano for a 2-1 victory in Tuesday's fourth Class 1A state tournament quarterfinal at Xcel Energy Center.
Junior defenseman George Moore scored midway through the third period and gave his Flyers the winning goal. Delano outshot the Flyers 34-16 but senior goalie Dane Couture held Little Falls in the game with 33 saves.
Dodge County 7, Hermantown 3
Brody Lamb, the state scoring leader, finished with six goals as he led the unseeded Wildcats past Hermantown — the No. 1 seed turned prohibitive underdog in one of the strangest and most captivating Class 1A quarterfinals in boys' hockey tournament history.
In a devastating twist for Hermantown — Class 1A champion in 2007, 2016 and 2017 and appearing in its 17th state tournament — the Hawks were forced to play with mostly junior varsity players.
Hermantown learned Monday that after beating Virginia/Mountain Iron-Buhl in a March 23 section semifinal, two Blue Devils subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. Zam Plante and Cameron Pietrusa didn't play in that game because of injuries. Backup varsity goaltender Cole Thorsvik also didn't see action.
All three players were cleared to play in Tuesday's game. The rest of Hermantown's varsity is in quarantine.
"They still had some skills," Lamb said. "Plante obviously played really well. That was an awesome effort by him."
Gentry Academy 8, Northern Lakes 0
Gentry Academy's full-speed-ahead offense doesn't have a governor, which means there's no situation imaginable in which the Stars aren't consumed with scoring goals.
Attack. Attack. Attack.
"We really would be lying if we said we were a defense-first team," Gentry Academy co-head coach Billy Hengen said after the No. 2 seed remained unbeaten with an 8-0 victory over unseeded Northern Lakes (18-4-0) on Tuesday in a state Class 1A quarterfinal at Xcel Energy Center.
Senior forward Damon Furuseth scored three goals for Gentry Academy (17-0), including two in the first period that helped settle the Stars' nerves.
East Grand Ford 8, Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato 1
Favored East Grand Forks scored less than one minute into its quarterfinal against Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato, an early jolt or bad joke depending on each coach's perspective.
"We wanted a quick start but that was probably even better than we could have asked for," East Grand Forks coach Tyler Palmiscno said.
Dragons' coach Brice Berggren could only laugh. He knew East Grand Forks held the advantage in state tournament experience and top-end players. And now this. A puck tipped in by Landon Parker for a goal just 25 seconds into the game.
The No. 3 seed Green Wave (14-8) never slowed its pace, taking an 8-1 victory Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center.
Class 2A action kicks off Wednesday but it will be later than scheduled. The 11 a.m. game featuring defending champion Hill-Murray was declared a forfeit after the Pioneers were forced to sit because of COVID-19 protocols.
The remaining Class 2A schedule:
1 p.m.: Moorhead vs. Lakeville South
6 p.m.: St. Thomas Academy vs. Eden Prairie
8 p.m.: Andover vs. Maple Grove
More on the tournament: