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Recap: Cathedral Hockey At State Tournament [PHOTOS,VIDEO]

Joe Bielawa, Townsquare Media

The Cathedral Crusaders boys hockey team capped an exciting 2013-14 campaign with a trip to the State Tournament. The Crusaders finished 1-2 in the tourney and earned fourth place in Class A.

SECTION PLAYOFFS:

Joe Bielawa, Townsquare Media

February 18

Cathedral 8, Little Falls 1

The Crusaders opened the section playoffs with a decisive 8-1 win over Little Falls at the MAC in St. Cloud..

CHS scored goals less than a minute apart late in the first period for a 2-0 lead. Sophomore Matson Courrier started the scoring at 14:41 from Logan Neu, and William Hammer, with Hammer scoring at 15:37 from Matt Fritz and Trevor Cornelius.

The Flyers got a puck past CHS netminder Zach Fritz with just :12 left in the opening period to cut the lead to 2-1 at the intermission. Landon Bjorge was credited with the goal for Little Falls. The Crusaders outshot the Flyers 16-5 in the opening period.

Joe Bielawa

Cathedral junior defenseman Peter O’Neal charted a goal at 7:15 of the second period to give the Crusaders a 3-1 lead. Daniel Bailey scored a 10:40 of the second for a 4-1 CHS lead after two periods. Cathedral outshot Little Falls 14-3 in the second period and 30-8 through two periods.

The Crusaders got third period goals from Neu, O’Neal, Chris Hornung and Brady Johnston to seal the win, and finished with 45 shots on goal to Little Falls’ 16.

February 22

Cathedral 3, Sartell-St.Stephen 1

Cathedral advanced to the Section 6A final with a 3-1 win over Sartell- St. Stephen on Saturday, February 22nd at the MAC in St. Cloud.

Cathedral struck first when senior defenseman Dan Bailey beat Sabres goaltender Elliott Brookins with just :23 remaining in the first period. Will Hammer and Trevor Cornelius were credited with assists on the goal.

Fellow senior Will Hammer made it a 2-0 game when he scored a short-handed goal at 5:45 of the second period.

Joe Bielawa, Townsquare Media

The Sabres answered back with a power play goal from Colin Johnson just :28 later to make the score 2-1, but the momentum would be short-lived as Matt Fritz put CHS back up by a pair of goals when he scored on a power play just :23 after the Johnson tally.

Cathedral outshot S-SS 33-26 in the game.

February 27

Cathedral 2, Alexandria 1

The Cathedral Crusaders boys hockey team won the Section 6A title Thursday night with a 2-1 win over Alexandria at the MAC in St. Cloud. The Crusaders will be making their first trip to the state tournament since 2009 with the win.

After a scoreless first period that saw the Crusaders outshoot Alexandria 9-6, the second period featured a flurry of goals.

Joe Bielawa, Townsquare Media

Sophomore Jack Steffl broke the ice for the Cardinals with a goal at 10:46 of the second period. Senior defenseman Kevin Finley fired a slap shot from the blue line that Steffl redirected past Cathedral goalie Zach Fritz.

The euphoria on Alexandria’s bench would prove to be short-lived, however, as the Crusaders answered back with a goal of their own just 1:34 later.

Joe Bielawa, Townsquare Media

Sophomore wing Logan Neu wristed home a shot just under the crossbar to complete a flurry of Cathedral chances and tie the game at one. Matt Fritz and Will Hammer were each given assists on the play.

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With Crusaders sophomore Trevor Cornelius in the penalty box for high-sticking (the game’s first penalty and one of only three in the entire game), Cathedral struck again to take the lead for good.

Matt Fritz received a pass from Phil Ruegamer and coasted through the neutral zone to the area just above the left wing circle. Without breaking stride, Fritz wristed a shot past Cardinals goalie Sam Goetsch for the short-handed goal at 15:08 of the second.

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Cathedral coach Eric Johnson says the team had been encouraging Fritz to shoot the puck a little more, and it paid off with the game-winner.

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The game ended with shots on goal even at 29, with quality scoring chances slightly favoring Cathedral 20-10.

Dave Overlund

Johnson said after the game that he was proud of his team, and added that his seniors really stepped up this season.

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STATE TOURNAMENT

Joe Bielawa, Townsquare Media

March 5

#4 Cathedral 4, #5 Totino-Grace 3 (OT)

The Cathedral Crusaders won Wednesday night in the State Quarterfinals against Totino-Grace 4-3 in overtime at the Xcel Energy Center. The Crusaders got two goals from senior Matt Fritz and the game-winner from sophomore Erik Gabdois with time winding down in overtime. Cathedral advances to play in the State Semifinals on Friday.

The Crusaders took a 1-0 lead on a Fritz goal 5:26 into the first period.

Joey Bray of Totino-Grace answered with 6:50 left in the first period to tie the game at one.

With 2:52 remaining in the first period Blake Vagle scored to give Totino-Grace the 2-1 lead.

23 seconds later, Bray scored his second goal to push the lead to 3-1.  The first period ended with the score 3-1. The Crusaders managed only five shots on goal in the first period.

In the second period, the Crusaders cut the lead to 3-2 on Fritz’s second goal of the game at 11:08. The Crusaders get another goal just before the second intermission from Leo Lommel to tie the score at 3-3.

Despite numerous scoring chances, neither team was able to score in the third period and the game went to overtime.

Cathedral got a goal from Erik Gabdois in overtime to seal the win.

March 7

#1 East Grand Forks 2, #4 Cathedral 1

Joe Bielawa, Townsquare Media

The East Grand Forks Green Wave defeated the Cathedral Crusaders 2-1 Friday afternoon in the semi-finals of the Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament at the Xcel Energy Center.

East Grand Forks advances to the State Finals tomorrow at noon against Hermantown.

Joe Bielawa, Townsquare Media

The Green Wave drew first blood after a goal from Colton Poolman with 13:43 left in the first period. The Crusaders had a power play opportunity in the first period but were unable to come away with a goal and the first period ended with East Grand Forks leading 1-0. East Grand Forks also outshot Cathedral 14-6 in the first period.

In the second period, the Crusaders tied the game at one with an Erik Gadbois goal with 4:03 remaining in the period. The Crusaders outshot the Green Wave in the second period 8-9 in shots on goal.

In the third period, Tanner Tweten gave East Grand Forks a 2-1 lead with a goal 4:19 into the period and the Crusaders were unable to tie the game. East Grand Forks outshot Cathedral 14-7 in the third period and 36-22 in the game.

 March 8

#3 New Prague 5, #4 Cathedral 2

Joe Bielawa

The Cathedral Crusaders lost to the New Prague Trojans 5-2 in the 3rd place game of the  High School Hockey State Tournament at the Xcel Energy Center Saturday morning. Cathedral takes 4th place in the state.

The Trojans scored 48 seconds into the game on a goal by Austin Isaacson.

The Crusaders countered with an Erik Gadbois goal 3:24 into the first period. The Crusaders scored 32 seconds later to go ahead 2-1 on a goal by Logan Neu. With just under a minute left in the first period, Austin Killian scored for New Prague to tie the score at 2. New Prague outshot the Crusaders 9-8 in the first period.

In the second period Killian scored again 2:01 into the frame to give New Prague a 3-2 lead. That was the only score of the second period and the Trojans had the advantage in shots on goal 8-4 over Cathedral.

Joe Bielawa, Townsquare Media

In the third period, the Trojans added a goal from Casey Busch to take a 4-2 lead. They scored again with just under a minute remaining on an empty net goal by Jake Ekness.

The Crusaders weren’t able to add any goals and the score finished at 5-2. The Crusaders outshot the Trojans 9-6 in the period but were outshot 23-21 in the game.

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