Boys Hockey: Alexandria Wins at State For First Time, Downing Thief River Falls in Class A Qtrs

March 08, 2018 01:14 AM

No. 4 seed Alexandria Area (18-10-1) survived a defensive slugfest with a 1-0 victory over No. 5 seed Thief River Falls (16-11-2) on Wednesday night at Xcel Energy Center in the 2018 MSHSL Class A Boys’ Hockey Tournament quarterfinal.

Click the video box on this page to see extended highlights from the Class A State Hockey Quarterfinal between Alexandria and Thief River Falls

The Cardinals, in their first state tournament trip since 2011, will face the top seed and two-time defending state champion Hermantown on Friday, March 9 at 1 p.m. in the state semifinals. The Prowlers will face Monticello in the consolation semifinals at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis on Thursday, March 8 at noon.

Alexandria Area senior goalie Jackson Boline produced a shutout in the net for the Cardinals and came up with a big save in the closing seconds to thwart one of Thief River Falls’ top scoring opportunities.

Boline wasn’t tested much in the first two periods, saving just nine shots and facing 23 through 34 minutes. The Cardinals offensive attack wasn’t putting a huge shooting display on the other end, though with just 17 shots on goal. But with 44 total shots, the combination of the Alexandria puck control and defensive in front of Boline kept the Prowlers out of the net.

Things shifted as Thief River Falls had eight shots on goal while allowing just one to Alexandria in the first 14:30 of the final period. The final tally had each team fire 49 total shots with Alexandria Area edging Thief River Falls 21-19 on goal.

But in the end, Boline made all 19 saves while junior forward Jack Westlund buried Alexandria’s only goal in the fourth minute of the second period which proved to be the difference.

Westlund is the Cardinals’ leading point scorer with 33 on the year, burying his 15th goal of the season. The assists on the goal were to Andrew Revering (14) and Caleb Strong with his team leading 20th on the year.

Prowlers sophomore forward Tucker Skime produced a game high seven shots on goal in the losing effort.

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Courtesy: Minnesota State High School League

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