State Hockey: Warroad beats St. Cloud Cathedral in quarterfinals
A third period scoring surge by Warroad (28-0-1) provided the number one seeded Warriors with a 5-1 victory over St. Cloud Cathedral (16-13) in the first round of the MSHSL Class A Boys Hockey Championship at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Wednesday.
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After a defensive duel for much of the first period, Warroad broke into the scoring column at 13:01 of the period with a power play goal by junior forward Carson Pilgrim. He pounced on a loose puck in the crease to gain the goal as assists on the play were credited to junior defenseman Ryan Lund and senior defenseman Erick Comstock.
Once again, St. Cloud Cathedral and Warroad engaged in a lengthy defensive battle for the first half of the second period before the Crusaders knotted the score at 9:19 of the second period with a goal by sophomore forward Joey Gillespie.
Just seconds after Warroad had killed a penalty, Gillespie took advantage of a timely bounce to score. Gillespie put a puck on net from the left side and then played the rebound off the back of Warroad goalie senior Hampton Slukynsky for the goal. Assists on the play were credited to sophomore forward John Hirschfeld and junior defenseman Vince Gebhardt.
To end the second period, Warroad took a 2-1 lead with another power play goal at 16:46 by Pilgrim. His goal was set up with a picture perfect cross ice pass from senior forward Jayson Shaugabay with the second assist going to Comstock.
Shaugabay stretched the lead to 3-1 at 4:40 of the third period with an even-strength rebound goal that included assists from junior forward Murray Marvin-Cordes and Comstock. The Warriors padded their lead to 4-1 at 9:01 of the third with a goal by Marvin-Cordes as Pilgrim posted the lone assist on the play.
To end the scoring, Pilgrim earned his hat trick at 17:00 of the contest with an empty net goal that was assisted by Shaugabay.
Warroad finished the game with 43 shots on goal, while St. Cloud Cathedral had 23 shots on net. Slukynsky made 22 saves in the game for the Warriors to earn the goalie victory, while junior goalie Nick Hansen turned in a strong performance for Cathedral with 38 saves to his credit.
Warroad will advance to play in the Championship semifinals on Friday at 1:00 p.m. against the winner of the game between Northfield and Orono. St. Cloud Cathedral will enter the consolation bracket and will continue play at the 3M Arena at Mariucci on Thursday at noon against the loser of the contest between Northfield and Orono.