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Maple Grove fends off Rogers

By Loren Nelson, 03/03/22, 9:45PM CST


Crimson use quick-response goals to counter Royals' attack, win Section 5AA championship

Maple Grove's Finn Brink leaps aboard linemate Landen Gunderson after Gunderson scored a second-period goal in the Crimson's 4-2 Section 5AA championship game victory over Rogers. Photo by Loren Nelson,

Quick Recap

Landen Gunderson had a goal and an assist and Toby Hopp made 31 saves as Maple Grove held off Rogers 4-2 Thursday in the Section 5AA championship game in front of a capacity crowd estimated at 2,200 at the Furniture and Things Community Event Center in Elk River.

Gunderson’s second-period goal came 40 seconds after Rogers star forward Sam Ranallo had scored to pull the No. 1-seeded Royals to within 2-1 with 2:24 left in the second period. Gunderson leads the Crimson with 72 points.

No. 2 seed Maple Grove had an answer for Rogers’ quick-strike offense again in the third period after Hogan Sinjem scored to pull the No. 10-2A Royals (19-8-1) to within 3-2.

This time the immediate response came from senior forward Bennett Glad. He scored 1:47 after Sinjem to regain the two-goal advantage for the No. 3-2A Crimson (21-6-1). The goal was Glad’s fifth of the season.

Hopp was called upon to make several quality saves in the second period as Rogers outshot Maple Gove 17-8. He was tested again late in the third after the Royals pulled goaltender Cade Chapman in favor of an extra skater. Chapman finished with 27 saves.

Rogers was playing in a section final for the third time, but it was the Royals’ first appearance in a Class 2A section title game. They moved up from 1A to 2A starting in the 2013-14 season.

Maple Grove, which lost to Rogers 5-4 Jan. 15 after leading 4-2, will be making its third-straight state tournament appearance next week when the Class 2A quarterfinals begin Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Rogers' Sam Ranallo, left, shields the puck from Maple Grove's Jack Kernan. Ranallo scored a second-period goal in Thursday's Section 5AA championship game at the Furniture and Things Community Event Center in Elk River. Photo by Loren Nelson, LegacyHocke

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