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Warroad's top line one of the greats

By Loren Nelson, Legacy Hockey, 03/08/23, 8:15PM CST


Unbeaten Warriors' fabulous trio combines for nine points, and all five goals, in state Class 1A quarterfinal victory over St. Cloud Cathedral

Warroad junior Carson Pilgrim scored three goals on Wednesday in Warroad's 5-1 victory over St. Cloud Cathedral in a state Class 1A quarterfinal at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Photo by Jeff Lawler,

ST. PAUL — Best forward line in Warroad history? Among the state’s best forward lines of all time?

Grab a favorite beverage and a couple buddies, ease back in a comfy lounge chair and let the debate begin.

“It’s kind of one those things where you sit around the coffee shop and argue about which lines were better,” Warroad coach Jay Hardwick said Wednesday after the Warriors’ trio of Jason Shaugabay, Carson Pilgrim and Murray Marvin-Cordes combined for nine points, including all the goals, in the Warriors’ 5-1 victory over St. Cloud Cathedral in a state Class 1A quarterfinal at the Xcel Energy Center.

“It’s hard to compare across generations and different teams," Hardwick added, "but I think their play, and what we’ve done together as a team this year, speaks for itself.”

Warroad’s top trio, performing on the state’s biggest stage, stated their case for program and state immortality loud and clear.

Pilgrim, a junior and the state’s third-leading goal scorer with 48, had a hat trick. Shaugabay, a senior, had a goal and three assists for 92 points, second most in the state. And Murray Marvin-Cordes, a junior, continued his late-season scoring flurry by adding a goal and an assist in the third. The three have combined for a mind-blowing 228 points.

“Just their creativity, the stuff that they do and the way they work together, it’s top notch,” St. Cloud Cathedral defenseman Tommy Gohman said. 

Shaugabay, who is Pilgrim’s uncle — “long story,” Shaugabay said — have been all but inseparable come wintertime in Warroad. 

“Me and Jayson have been skating together since we could walk,” Pilgrim said. “The chemistry is obviously there. Playing with him and Murray, you’ve always got to be ready because you know they are going to get you the puck.”

The most vivid illustration of that get-each-other-the-puck chemistry came on a Warroad power play in late in the second period. Pilgrim, stationed to the left of the Cathedral goal, waited patiently as the puck swung around the zone on a series of passes, finally hammering home a long cross-ice pass feed from Shaugabay. That goal put the No. 1-1A Warriors (28-0-1), the state’s lone unbeaten team, ahead 2-1 with 13.8 seconds left in the second.

“It’s a different animal than what you see all season; it’s just a different game,” Cathedral coach Robbie Stocker said about facing Warroad’s top line. “They are kind of on another level. And they just keep coming.”

Warroad’s Jayson Shaugabay had a goal and two assists in the Warriors’ 5-1 state Class 1A quarterfinal victory over St. Cloud Cathedral on Wednesday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Photo by Jeff Lawler,

Quick Recap

ST. PAUL — Carson Pilgrim scored three goals and Jayson Shaugabay had a goal and and three assists to give him 300 career points as No. 1 seed Warroad, the state’s lone unbeaten team, cruised past unseeded St. Cloud Cathedral 5-1 on Wednesday in a state Class 1A quarterfinal at the Xcel Energy Center.

Pilgrim, a junior forward, boosted his season goal total to 48, third most in the state. He slammed home a loose puck sitting in the crease for his first goal and one-timed a cross-ice feed from Shaugabay for his second, putting the Warriors ahead 2-1 with 13.8 seconds left in the second period. His empty net goal came just before the final horn and completed the scoring.

Murray Marvin-Cordes, the third member of one of the state’s most prolific scoring lines, added a third-period goal on a long-range snapshot to put the No. 1-1A Warroad (28-0-1) ahead 4-1 with 7:59 remaining. Cordes has 12 goals in his last nine games.

Joey Gillespie pulled No. 15-1A St. Cloud Cathedral (16-13-0) into a 1-1 tie with 7:41 left in the second period. He was behind the goal line when he banked a shot in off the backside of Warroad goaltender Hampton Slukynsky.

Shaugabay grabbed a rebound in the slot and maneuvered around St. Cloud Cathedral’s Nick Hansen before shooting into an open net to put Warroad ahead 3-1 4:40 into the third period. He's sixth on the state's all-time career scoring chart, 12 points behind Duluth East's Dave Spehar (1992-96).

Warroad is trying to become the first team in either class to go undefeated since Gentry Academy in 2021, when regular-season schedules were shortened because of COVID-19 protocols.

Warroad’s Carson Pilgrim takes a face-off against St. Cloud Cathedral Wednesday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Photo by Jeff Lawler,

St. Cloud Cathedral goalie Nick Hansen squeezes the puck between his glove and blocker during Wednesday night's state Class 1A quarterfinal matchup against Warroad at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Photo by Jeff Lawler,

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