Going into the third period down by one, #5 St. Cloud Cathedral needed to come out strong to avoid a loss to the #3 Delano Tigers.
They did exactly that, as senior forward Reagan Garden hammered a rebound past Jackson Hjelle to tie the game at 4 with 10:13 left to play.
That’s when the wheels came off for the Crusaders.
The Crusader defense finally broke down over the last 10 minutes, and senior goaltender Jake Levinski was overwhelmed by the firepower of the Delano Tigers. Gabe Halonen put one in with 6:02 remaining, and less than a minute later the state points Ben Meyers stretched the lead to 6-4 with his second goal of the night. Brian Halonen found the back of the net with 4:09 to go, effectively sealing the win for Delano. Meyers wasn’t quite finished, however, as he picked his fourth hat trick of the year with 11 ticks left on the clock.
Throughout the first two periods, the game was a back-and-fourth affair with both offenses playing very well. Defensively, it was not the same story. The Cathedral penalty kill was overwhelmed by the Delano squad that came in converting on 48.8% of their opportunities, as the Tigers found the back of the net on 3 of their 4 power play chances.
Final: #3 Delano 8, #5 St. Cloud Cathedral 4
By The Numbers:
Goals: Jake Van Halbeck, Michael Spethmann, Jackson Savoie, Garden
Assists: Van Halbeck 2, Mack Motzko 2, Matthew Wedin
Jake Levinski: 35 Saves on 43 Shots on Goal
Goals: Meyers 3, Kyle Ylitalo 2, Garrett Pinoniemi, G. Halonen, B. Halonen
Assists: Andrew Kruse 4, B. Halonen 3, John Keranen 2, Meyers 2, Ray Heikkila, Ylitalo, G. Halonen, Pinoniemi
Jackson Hjelle: 20 Saves on 24 Shots on Goal