Boys Hockey: Orono's 4-Goal Second Period Downs Litchfield/D-C in Class A Quarterfinal

March 07, 2018 06:03 PM

A three goal flurry in the opening minutes of the second period sparked No. 3 seed Orono (21-7-1) to a 6-1 victory over Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato (16-12-1) in the 2018 MSHSL Class A Boys’ Hockey Tournament quarterfinal on Wednesday afternoon at Xcel Energy Center. The Spartans scored four goals in the decisive second period.

***Click the video box on this page to see extended highlights of the Class A State Quarterfinal game between Orono and Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato.***

Orono, making its ninth state tournament appearance, will play No. 2 seed Mahtomedi in the state semifinals on Friday, March 9 at 11 a.m. at Xcel Energy Center. Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato will face Mankato East/Loyola in the consolation semifinal on Thursday, March 8 at 10 a.m. at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis.

The Wright County Conference programs squared off for the third time this season with Orono recording the three game sweep with the state quarterfinal contest providing the closest margin.

Six Spartans registered two or more points in the game led by a three point game from junior defenseman Jack Kubitz (1g, 2a). Sophomore forward Lucas Jorgenson had a two goal game for the Spartans.

The teams played to a scoreless tie in the first period despite the Spartans’ strong 32-17 shot advantage (14-7 SOG).

Three different Spartans scored during the three goal spurt in the second period, Jorgenson, senior forward Davey Burns and junior defenseman Daniel Eckerline. Burns also assisted on the Eckerline goal while senior forward Jack Suchy assisted on the first and third goals to give him a team-high 39 assists on the year (58 points).

Later in the period in a 4-on-4 situation, Kubitz gave the Spartans a 4-0 lead in the 15th minute. Kubitz had assisted on Orono’s second goal of the period, as well. Senior forward Dane Korsi picked up his second assist of the period on the goal, also assisting on Orono’s second goal earlier in the period.

Orono broke the scoreless tie three minutes into the second period and needed just 27 seconds to make it a two goal advantage. The third goal came just over three minutes later in the seventh minute of the period.

By the end of the second period, the Spartans had doubled up the Dragons in shots (56-32) including a 28-15 margin on goal.

In the third period, Orono extended its margin to 5-0 on Jorgenson’s second goal with senior forward Billy Lynch adding his second assist in the third minute.

Playing with a 5-minute major power play late in the third period, Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato erased the shutout when senior defenseman Orrin Grangroth scored in the 13th minute with junior forwards Dylan Schultz and Brandt Pedersen assisting. It was Pedersen’s 18th assist on the year as the Dragon scoring leader now has 45 points.

Orono added its final tally short-handed as sophomore forward Zack Simon made it 6-1 in the 14th minute with Kubitz picking up his second assist of the game.

Senior goalie Evan Babekuhl secured the net for the Spartans, making 29 stops in a strong performance in the crease.

In the third period, the Dragons were able to fire off twice as many shots as Orono (24-12) including a 16-6 edge on net but the Spartans still held a 2-1 third period scoring margin.

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Courtesy: Minnesota State High School League

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