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2016 Boys HS Hockey Tournament Day 2: Class AA Quarterfinals

The annual pilgrimage to St. Paul was in full effect today as it was a full house for both sessions of the Class AA quarterfinals. A very wide open field graced the AA bracket this year, as many teams made some upsets in their section playoffs en route to the tourney. Lets take a look at the results.
Image courtesy of Giles Ferrell
#2 Stillwater 4, Farmington 1

In a fairly even played first period, it was Stillwater who managed to put home a pair of goals thanks to some miscues by the Tigers. However, the second period saw a lot of push back from Farmington, but the Tigers seemingly missed the net on every great chance they had to get on the board. The game remained 2-0 after the second period, and with Farmington looking to cut the lead in half in the third, it took all of 26 seconds to open the period for Stillwater to strike to completely take the wind out of the Tigers' sails. The Ponies added another goal later in the period for good measure, and they went on to win the game 4-1.

Players of the Game: Jackson Cates (Stillwater) had a pair of goals, while his brother Noah Cates (Stillwater) added a goal and two assists in the Ponies' victory. Josh Benson (Stillwater) was solid all afternoon, making 21 saves before losing his shutout with seven seconds left in the game.

#3 Wayzata 3, Burnsville 1

Burnsville came out with some spring in their step, as they controlled most of the opening period as they were able to get a 1-0 lead out of it. However, the tides quickly turned in the second period, as Wayzata appeared to shake off the first period jitters and tallied three goals in the period, including two that were 45 seconds apart. Burnsville was not able to generate any type of offense in the third period, as the Trojan defense was able to keep them from getting any type of sustained pressure. With the win, Wayzata now moves on to play Stillwater in the semifinals tomorrow night.

Players of the game: After a rough first period that saw him get run over three different times, Alex Schilling (Wayzata) made 21 saves, including a few highlight reel saves to keep the Blaze more than one goal.

#1 Eden Prairie 7, Anoka 2

The Eagles struck first 3:58 into the game, and dominated most of the first but they were unable to take the lead into the dressing room, as Anoka was able to tie it up on a power play goal late in the period. But that was as close as the Tornadoes got to winning this game, as the Eagles came out and scored four consecutive goals in the second, including two from Nicky Leivermann to give them a stranglehold on the game. Eden Prairie added two more in the third before to give them a 7-3 victory.

Players of the game: Casey Middelstadt (Eden Prairie) tallied five points (one goal and four assists) to lead Eden Prairie, while Hunter Johannes (Eden Prairie) and Nicky Leivermann (Eden Prairie) each had a pair of goals. Michael Talbot (Anoka) became the first player of the day and fifth of the tournament to get a hat trick.

#4 Grand Rapids 3, Bemidji 2 (OT)

In the closest game of the tournament, these two teams from the north went toe to toe ending with a dramatic overtime winner. Bemidji got on the board in the first period, and took that lead into the intermission. However, Grand Rapids struck back twice in the second period, despite the Lumberjacks' best efforts to even the score before both teams went to the dressing room. Alex Pollock tied the game 16 seconds into the third period for Bemidji, but no one was able to get another in the period despite many great scoring chances. In the first overtime of the tournament, Alex Adams scored his fourth game winning goal of the season for Grand Rapids, to send the Thunderhawks into tomorrow's semifinal matchup.

Players of the game: In the loss, Alex Pollock (Bemidji) had a pair of goals for the Lumberjacks. Gavin Hain (Grand Rapids) lead the Thunderhawks with two points (one goal and one assist), while Alex Adams (Grand Rapids) scored the game winner in overtime.

Class A Consolation Update:

Mankato West 3, Princeton 0
St. Cloud Cathedral 4, LDC 2

Mankato West and St. Cloud Cathedral will meet Saturday at 10 AM for the Class A Consolation Championship.


Today's total attendance at Xcel Energy Center was 36,287. 18,165 for the afternoon session, and 18,122 for the evening session.

Random Tidbits:

-Barry Melrose of ESPN was in town taking in the Bemidji/Grand Rapids game.

-Fans successfully did the wave and that thing where they all turn on their cell phone flashlight during the Anoka/Eden Prairie game.
-The trend of bad mustaches continued today, especially for Grand Rapids.

Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell
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