The big schools took the ice Wednesday in the state boys' hockey tournament at the Xcel Energy Center.
The quarterfinals were down to three games because No. 2-seed Hill-Murray, the defending state champion, has been knocked out of the field because of COVID-19 protocols. That means Wayzata will advance to Friday night's semifinals against Lakeville South, which defeated Moorhead 4-2 in Wednesday's first game.
The other semifinal will pit Eden Prairie vs. Maple Grove, winners in Wednesday's evening session.
Maple Grove 5, Andover 2
Three consecutive goals fueled Maple Grove's victory at Xcel Energy Center.
"That became our goal later in the first period, to get pucks on net," senior defenseman Henry Nelson said.
His team ahead 2-1, Nelson doubled the lead when pucks he shot were tipped into the net.
The first one deflected off an Andover defender's stick and high into the left corner of the net for a power-play goal.
Another tipped Nelson shot, this one by Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year Kyle Kukkonen, disappeared into almost the exact spot in the net and Maple Grove led 4-1 midway through the second period.
"That one was definitely going wide," Nelson said. "Kyle made an unbelievable play to get that one in there for us."
Maple Grove bested its Northwest Suburban Conference rivals for the third time this season.
Eden Prairie 6, St. Thomas Academy 2
Carter Batchelder and Riku Brown scored third-period goals 73 seconds apart to break open a tie game and propel No. 1 seed Eden Prairie to a 6-2 victory over unseeded St. Thomas Academy on Wednesday in aClass 2A quarterfinal at Xcel Energy Center.
Batchelder, the Eagles' scoring leader with 30 goals, provided an energy boost — and a 2-1 lead — when he slammed home the rebound of his initial shot that sailed high into the air after deflecting off Cadetsgoaltender Carsten Lardy's blocker.
Brown scored just more than a minute later, putting the Eagles ahead 3-1 with 12:20 left.
The victory extended the Eagles' state tournament quarterfinal winning streak to nine games dating to 2003. Eden Prairie has lost in the championship game each of the past two years.
St. Thomas Academy was unable to rekindle magic it used a year ago in the quarterfinals when it was unseeded and stunned No. 1 seed Andover 3-2.
Lakeville South 4, Moorhead 2
A third-period scoring burst propelled undefeated Lakeville South past upset-minded Moorhead for a 4-2 victory Wednesday in a Class 2A quarterfinal at Xcel Energy Center.
Moorhead (13-8-1) played a near-perfect game through two periods. A power-play goal from sophomore Harper Bentz in the second period gave the Spuds a 1-0 lead. Bentz worked hard just outside the crease and was rewarded with his 14th goal this season.
Through two periods, Moorhead senior goaltender Will Kunka stopped all 17 shots faced to stymie No. 3 seed Lakeville South (19-0-2). But the favored Cougars weren't deterred.
Three goals in a little more than three minutes built a 3-1 Lakeville South lead in the third period.
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