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Tough day at section quarterfinals
The road to the boys high school hockey tournament kicked off last week but the trip was a short one for Mounds View and Irondale/St. Anthony Village. Both squads lost their playoff openers on Saturday night.
The Mustangs were trying to resurrect a season that started off with great promise but veered off the tracks in mid-January. A victory over rival Stillwater on Saturday in the Section 4AA quarterfinals at Aldrich Arena might have righted the ship but that outcome wasn’t to be.
Stillwater handed Mounds View its eighth loss in its last 12 games in a 3-2, double-overtime decision. The Ponies scored the game-winner 14 seconds into the extra session.
Mounds View trailed 1-0 going to the third but a quick blitz to begin the period gave the Mustangs the lead. Darian Romanko scored unassisted just 26 seconds into the third to tie it and Tucker Gran put Mounds View in front less than a minute later off an assist from Matt Hunt.
Stillwater knotted things at 2-2 two and a half minutes later and that’s how the score remained through the final 13:28 of regulation and eight minutes of the first overtime.
With fresh ice in the second OT, Stillwater’s Aaron Kasinak ended Mounds Viewís season with an unassisted tally.
Stillwater advances to Tuesday’s section semifinals at the state Fair Coliseum against top-ranked Hill-Murray, a 12-1 winner over St. Paul Como Park on Saturday. The other semifinal on Tuesday pits sixth-seeded Roseville, a surprise 6-5 winner over third-seeded Tartan in the quarterfinals, against second-seeded White Bear Lake, a 5-3 victor over seventh-seeded North St. Paul on Saturday.
Tuesday’s victorious teams will meet for the section title on Friday at 8:30 p.m. at the Coliseum.
Irondale/St. Anthony Village
The Knights entered their Section 5AA quarterfinal against Maple Grove on Saturday at the Champlin Ice Forum a decided underdog and the Crimson treated them as such. Maple Grove scored early and often and put the game away in the first period.
Maple Grove led by two less than a minute into the game and cruised to a 6-0 victory. It was 4-0 less than midway through the first.
Irondale finished with only 11 shots on goal.
With the victory, Maple Grove advances to Wednesday’s semifinals at the state Fair Coliseum against second-seeded Centennial, a 4-1 winner over seventh-seeded Coon Rapids on Saturday. The other semi features top-seeded Blaine, which blanked eighth-seeded Osseo 4-0 in the quarterfinals, versus fourth-seeded Champlin Park, which needed two overtimes to dispatch fifth-seeded Anoka in the first round.
The section title game is Friday at 6 p.m. at the Coliseum.
Brian Meyers can be reached at email@example.com.