0 - 7 St. Thomas Academy Cadets
The Cadets came out flying early in this one. The Flyers put themselves behind the 8-ball early with a bad holding penalty. St. Thomas Academy made the Flyers pay for their mistake. The Cadets played great neutral-zone hockey, forcing a lot of turnovers at the red line. Little Falls goalie Michael Stumpf was fighting the puck early, and it led to the second Cadets goal. The Flyers were given a chance to get back into the game with when they went on the powerplay, but an odd-man rush for the shorthanded Cadets led to their third goal of the period.
The Cadets didn't waste any time picking up where they left off in the 2nd period. Henry Hart and Wyatt Schmit played catch for a little bit, then Hart walked in and fired a shot over Stumpf's glove to put the Cadets ahead by 4. The onslaught continued when another rebound found it's way to the back of the Little Falls net, putting the Flyers in a 5-0 hole. Little Falls took a minor penalty for too many men on the ice, and it translated into another Cadets goal. Michael Stumpf was able to make a late save on a redircted shot, allowing the Flyers to get out of the period down by 6.
The Cadets made a change in net to start the 3rd period. Ian West came in to finish up this game, getting him some ice time during the State Tournament. The change in goalie didn't effect the game plan of St. Thomas Academy, as the Cadets kept their foot on the gas, scoring early in the period to stretch their lead to 7. The Flyers couldn't find any open ice, being forced to chip the puck out of their zone. If Little Falls could control the puck out of their end, they were forced to dump it in and watch as the Cadets broke out with ease. A dangerous hit late in the period occured when Cadet forward T.J. Samec delivered a blatant hit from behind. Here's hoping he sees ZERO ice time in the rest of the tournament.
In a game they dominated from the onset, the Cadets cruised to an easy victory 7-0 against an overmatched Little Falls team. The Cadets played incredible defense, giving Little Falls absolutely no time in the neutral zone, and even less in the offensive zone. The Schurhamer and Sattler pairing are going to be tough to crack.
Duluth Marshall Hilltoppers 0 - 7 The Breck School Mustangs
A rematch of an early December game, the Hilltoppers and Mustangs locked horns again, this time with much more on the line. Both teams could skate well and have offensive talent, so the difference would have to be execution. Breck got it going early with a powerplay goal. The powerplay magic would strike again after a Hilltopper hooking penalty, giving Breck a comfortable 2-goal lead. The Hilltoppers had a powerplay chance of their own and had good movment and passing, but were unable to cash in on their first man advantage. Duluth Marshall seemed to get stronger as the period went on, getting some good zone time and getting pucks to the net.
Once the Hilltoppers got settled in, they started generating chances and getting some of the momentum back from the Mustangs. An early powerplay gave a strong Marshall powerplay another chance to break through, but Kenney was standing tall. He definitley proved his worth when he made a big save on a Matt Klassen breakaway, keeping Duluth Marshall off the board. Breck, however, had their powerplay firing on all cylinders. Matt Colford made a sensation individual effort, undressed the defensman, and put Breck up 3-0. The Mustangs took over late in the period, and it was Grant Opperman who cashed with a strong wrap around goal. The goal gave Breck a 4-goal lead heading into the 3rd period.
The Mustangs focus in the 3rd period was claming down and playing solid defense. Unfortunately for Duluth Marshall, Breck's best defense is their offense. A defense breakdown allowed Breck to buring their 5th goal of the game, hammering the proverbial nail in the coffin. Breck wasn't going to sit on the lead, however, as Wesley Iverson blasted a shot past Flaherty to make it a 6-0 score. After a successful penalty kill, Breck got another shot on the powerplay. The Mustangs couldn't cash in, though the top powerplay unit didn't seem much time on this particular man advantage. A late blast that got by Flaherty stretched the lead to 7-0, capping off another total blowout.
Breck is a dominant offensive team, and Duluth Marshall found out the hard way. The powerplay of Breck is just loaded with way too much offense to continue to put on the ice. Add in that Breck did a very good job of keeping Judd Peterson out of the danger areas, and Marshall was battling uphill all day. Breck will meet St. Thomas Academy in the 1st Class A Semifinal.