ST. PAUL — The Mr. Hockey Award finalists were mostly silent. Same goes for the rest of the game’s players committed to Division I college programs or sure to someday skate that path.
No, this wasn’t a game for the Finn Brinks and Jake Fishers and others who reside in Maple Grove and Cretin-Derham Hall’s upper crust.
This was a Holden Saumweber sort of game.
Saumweber, a senior third-liner who had toiled on Cretin-Derham Hall’s junior varsity until this season, scored the winning goal for the unseeded Raiders on Thursday in their 3-1 upset over No. 2 seed Maple Grove in a state Class 2A quarterfinal at the Xcel Energy Center.
And talk about that goal. This wasn’t a gritty, grimy, greasy, hit-two-kneecaps-and-in goal. Saumweber corralled the puck in the high slot and, with his back to the net, in one smooth motion wheeled and fired straight into the upper right corner.
“Great finish,” said Cretin-Derham Hall’s Jake Fisher, a senior Northern Michigan commit and one of 10 Mr. Hockey finalists, said about Saumweber. “He’s definitely got a good shot.”
With the top lines from both teams effectively cancelling each other out in a game with no penalties and just a combined 45 shots, it only figured that it would be Saumweber, or some other true grit player to emerge as the hero.
“He works his bag off,” Fisher said. “I think any kid that works that hard is due for big goals at big times.”
Fisher, who entered the game with 34 goals among his 62 points, was held to zero goals, zero assists and three shots on goal. Brink, Maple Grove’s Mr. Hockey finalist and a Wisconsin commit with 31 goals among his 68 points, had a similar stat line: zero goals, zero assists, two shots on goal.
“They played a good defensive game, they kept us to the outside, didn’t give us much for opportunities,” Brink said.
A no-power play game also limited the chances for the game’s biggest stars and favored Cretin-Derham Hall, keen on avoiding a run-n-gun game, special teams-dominated affair. Maple Grove leads the state with a 42.9 percent power-play success rate.
“We have a phenomenal power play, and we know that had we been given that situation, we would have taken advantage of it,” Maple Grove coach Todd Bergland said. “Hats off to the refs for letting us play.”
ST. PAUL — Holden Saumweber’s spin-and-shoot goal late in the second period held up as the winner as unseeded Cretin-Derham Hall upended No. 2 seed Maple Grove 3-1 on Thursday in a state Class 2A quarterfinal at the Xcel Energy Center.
No. 13-2A Cretin Derham Hall (19-9-1) opened the scoring when Chuck Owens scored a rebound goal 3:20 into the first period. No. 4-2A Maple Grove (22-6-1) answered 14 seconds later on a goal by Jay Ellingson, as his intended pass bounced off a Cretin-Derham Hall defender and into the net.
Saumweber, who entered the tournament with five goals, looked like a natural-born scorer when he corralled a loose puck in the slot and, with his back to the net, and wasted little time in turning and firing into the upper right corner with 5:28 left in the second period.
Cretin-Derham Hall freshman Max Anderson scored an empty-net goal with 1:26 left left in the third period.
Cretin-Derham Hall goaltender Leo Miller finished with 20 saves. Maple Grove’s Jack Roach had 21 stops.
Maple Grove, runner-up to Andover in last year’s state tournament, beat Cretin-Derham Hall 6-3 on Dec. 27 at a holiday tournament in Maple Grove. Cretin-Derham Hall lost both of its games at last year’s tournament.