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2016 Boys HS Hockey Tournament Day 3: Class A & AA Semifinals

It was semifinal Friday at Xcel Energy Center, as both Class A and AA had their pair of games in the afternoon and evening respectively. There was surprisingly little drama in today's games, which should shape up for an exciting championship Saturday tomorrow.
Image courtesy of Giles Ferrell
Class A

#2 Breck 4, #3 Thief River Falls 0

A pair of goals that came just 91 seconds apart 4:55 into the hockey game for the Mustangs set the tone in this semifinal. After registering seven shots on goal in the first period, the Prowlers struggled to get anything on the Breck net, as they just registered only 11 shots on goal in the next two periods combined. Breck dominated the play, outshooting Thief River Falls 43-18, 30 of which came in the first two periods alone. The Mustangs now move on to the state title game at noon tomorrow, where they will play the winner of Hermantown/St. Paul Academy.

Players of the game: Tyler Scott (Breck) had a pair of goals, while Chase Ellingson (Breck) and Dalton Weigel (Breck) tallied a pair of points. Linden Olness, who had a scary cut on his chin in the first period, made all 18 saves in his sixth shutout of the season.

#1 Hermantown 6, #4 St. Paul Academy 1

After SPA evened the score at one midway through the first period, it was all Hawks from there on out. Hermantown rattled off five consecutive goals between the first and second period, to put the game well out of reach from SPA, who could just not get any kind of sustained offensive pressure going. 10 different Hawks players found the scoresheet, and five of those ten players had at least two points. The Hawks added one more goal in the third to make it running time, and close out the 7-1 win. Hermantown moves on to their seventh consecutive final. Question now is, can they finally win the whole thing?

Players of the game: Matt Valure (Hermantown), Ryan Sandelin (Hermantown), and Jesse Jacques (Hermantown) all had three points today, with three other players on the Hawks tallying two points.

Class AA

#3 Wayzata 2, #2 Stillwater 1

In what had been a fairly even game throughout, it was a duel of both goaltenders as each offense struggled to get anything by the netminders. Wayzata scored 6:55 into the first period, and that was all the offense we would see until the final two minutes of the hockey game. A breakaway goal with 1:35 left in the game put the Trojans up by two, but 35 seconds later the Ponies answered right back, setting up a dramatic finish. With the clock winding down and an extra attacker on the ice, Stillwater was able to get a couple of shots on net (quality chances), but Alex Schilling made some big saves to keep the puck out of the net as time expired to send Wayzata to the state final.

Players of the game: Griffin Ness (Wayzata) had the game winning goal in this one, as he slipped in behind the defense on a breakaway to give the Trojans a 2-0 lead late in the third. Alex Schilling (Wayzata) made some huge saves throughout, including the pair at the end, to hold the Ponies to just one goal.

#1 Eden Prairie 6, #4 Grand Rapids 2

A pair of goals late in the first period but the Eagles out ahead 2-0 going into the dressing room. Grand Rapids scored 11 seconds apart in the first 1:40 of the second period to bring the score to 2-2, but they could not cash in on that momentum as some defensive miscues and penalties lead to three Eden Prairie goals before the period ended. The Eagles scored again early in the third to make it 6-2, and they coasted on that lead to win by that same score.

Players of the game: It was the Casey Middelstadt (Eden Prairie) show tonight, as the junior scored five points, giving him 11 in two days of the tournament. Cole Lawrence (Eden Prairie) had a pair of goals for the Eagles tonight.

Class AA Consolation Results:

Farmington 4, Burnsville 2
Bemidji 5, Anoka 0

Tomorrow's Consolation Finals:
Class A-Mankato West vs St. Cloud Cathedral (10 AM)
Class AA-Farmington vs Bemidji (12 PM)

Attendance:

Combined attendance today at Xcel Energy Center was 32,585 (10,341-afternoon, 22,244-evening). The 22,244 for the evening session was a new tournament record.

Random Tidbits

-Here is Hermantown Head Coach Bruce Plante talking about numerous things. Worth your time.

-The Lets Play Hockey Expo got underway today and will conclude tomorrow at RiverCentre.


Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell
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