It is the biggest stage in America for high school hockey. But the Crusaders are ready for it.

“We have five seniors who have been to state before, so the leadership is there,” senior left wing Logan Neu said. “We have a lot of confidence right now as a team.”
Confidence should be the least of the Crusaders’ worries after their dominant performance throughout the Section 6A tournament.

In the section finals, the Crusaders pounced on Little Falls early, scoring eight unanswered goals until Little Falls finally lit the lamp late in the second period. Cathedral won the game handily, 10-2.

Neu led the team in points in the section tournament, totaling 10 points with five goals and five assists. His hat trick in the section semifinal 7-2 victory over Sartell-St. Stephen electrified the Cathedral offense and may have inspired the hat tricks in the section final by senior forward Jack Petroske and junior forward Michael Spethmann.

Fourth-seeded St. Paul Academy & Summit Spartans awaits Cathedral in the state quarterfinals. The team finished second in the IMAC this season to Breck, another tournament team. The Spartans forged their way into the state tournament through the Section 4A, beating Henry Sibley, South St. Paul, and Totino-Grace by a combined score of 20-3.

Coaches from Cathedral traveled to Roseville to watch Academy’s section final victory over Totino-Grace last Friday and shared what they saw with the team.
“They’re a quick team,” Neu said. “We know they’re young and they don’t like to be hit that much, so we plan on hitting hard right away.”

The Spartans are backed in net by sophomore goaltender Andy Beran, who stands with a small frame but brings his 1.88 Goals Against Average to the ice.
Goaltending has also been a bright spot for Cathedral. Junior Jake Levinski and sophomore Keegan Karki stopped 56 of the 62 shots they faced in the section tournament.

The St. Cloud Cathedral vs. St. Paul Academy hockey game will be broadcasted live by Dave Overlund and Eric Johnson on AM 1240 WJON Wednesday night at 8:20. The winner of the game will face the winner of Hermantown and Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato.

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