skip navigation

Maple Grove's Josh Giuliani relishes shutdown role

By Loren Nelson, 03/12/22, 12:15AM CST


Crimson forward holds Prior Lake star Alex Bump to a goal, scores three of his own

Joshua Guiliani celebrates

Maple Grove's Josh Giuliani scored three goals and played shutdown defense on Prior Lake star Alex Bump Friday in the Crimson's 6-2 state Class 2A semifinal victory at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Photo by Helen Nelson, Legacy Hockey

Josh Giuliani didn’t waste any time both invading Alex Bump’s personal space and barreling into his psyche on Friday.

“I started the game with maybe not the nicest words in the world to him,” admitted Giuliani, the Maple Grove senior who, when he wasn’t pestering the Prior Lake’s superstar into submission, was scoring three goals in the Crimson’s 6-2 state Class 2A semifinal at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Naturally, Maple Grove coach Todd Bergland was besieged by questions about his strategy for stopping Bump. Well, it was really only one question:

“Everyone was asking me, ‘Are you going to shadow Bump? Are you going to shadow Bump?’ ” Bergland said. “Why, when I've got Jules?

“Josh has a way of getting under the skin.”

Bump had etched his name into state tournament lore Thursday when he scored five goals — and added an assist — in the unseeded Lakers’ 6-0 quarterfinal upset win over No. 2 seed Cretin-Derham Hall.

Only Eveleth's John Mayasich, with seven and six goals in single games in the 1950s, has more.

Why, indeed. The 6-foot, 180-pound Giuliani’s normal game — which packs physical play, speed and a nasty streak — offers more than enough to shut down any player, even the one most likely to win the Mr. Hockey award that goes to the state’s top senior skater.

Bump managed a goal in the second period to pull Prior Lake (19-11-0) to within 4-2, but Landen Gunderson and Giuliani added goals later in the period to put Maple Grove (23-6-1) up by four. Giuliani scored twice in Maple Grove’s quarterfinal victory over Edina, giving him five for the tournament and 28 for the season.

“I like to call myself a 200-feet player,” Giuliani said. “I love to play defense, I love to play offense.”

Prior Lake coach said the treatment Bump received Friday, was about the same the Lakers deployed when matched up against former Eden Prairie star Casey Mittelstadt, the 2017 Mr. Hockey winner who plays for the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres.

“The played him the same way I used to try to handle Mittelstadt,” Pankratz said. “Send one guy on him, two guys at him, hack him, slash him, whack him, hold him, do everything. And that’s what they were doing (to Bump) pretty much for three periods.”

Maple Grove's Landen Gunderson (17) knifes through Prior Lake's Benjamin Simonson, left, and Sam Rice, right, during Friday's state Class 2A semifinal at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Photo by Helen Nelson, Legacy Hockey

Latest News

  • Big hair, big hearts

  • By Loren Nelson 09/08/2022, 12:30pm CDT
  • Eveleth's mop-topped Elliott Van Orsdel, Hermantown's Pat Andrews were perfect fits for Hockeyland film
  • Read More
  • State of Puckstoppers

  • By Loren Nelson 07/31/2022, 8:45pm CDT
  • Wayzata's Will Ingemann, Warroad's Hampton Slukynsky representing U.S. on international stage
  • Read More

Tourney Time Teasers

  • O What a Relief

  • By David La Vaque 06/09/2020, 5:45pm CDT
  • Hill-Murray's Seamus Regan delighted father, brother by accomplishing what they couldn't
  • Read More
  • Danger Zone

  • By Loren Nelson 03/04/2020, 2:30pm CST
  • Goalies were once allowed to skate to opposite end — and did so at their own peril
  • Read More
  • The Heartbreak Kid

  • By David La Vaque 01/24/2020, 10:30am CST
  • Rob McClanahan and undefeated Mounds View dealt bitter state quarterfinal loss in 1976 by Steve Christoff and Richfield
  • Read More

The Full Nelson

  • Now You See It ...

  • By Loren Nelson 01/04/2022, 12:30pm CST
  • Houdini-like move by Andover's Cayden Casey joins list of greatest goals-gone-viral scored in recent history
  • Read More
  • The Real Hockeytown

  • By Loren Nelson 11/22/2021, 10:30pm CST
  • Season Primer: When Warroad plays, it's always a primetime event, especially in the Warriors' home town
  • Read More
  • Drama Kings

  • By Loren Nelson 11/18/2021, 12:45pm CST
  • Season Primer: The high school futures of Prior Lake stars Will Schumacher and Alex Bump were in doubt much of this fall
  • Read More
  • Law Aching

  • By Loren Nelson 03/24/2021, 1:00am CDT
  • Andover defenseman Kyle Law takes a beating in his two-way, high-danger role
  • Read More
  • Showtime Raiders

  • By Loren Nelson 03/20/2021, 3:30am CDT
  • Freewheeling Cretin-Derham Hall has top-seed credentials, plenty of doubters
  • Read More