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Hockey Night: Elk River completes improbable run to state tourney

By Legacy Hockey staff, 02/29/24, 12:30AM CST


Feb. 28: No. 4 seed Elks reach state tournament for the first time since 2005; Hermantown, Cathedral win section titles

Elk River 3, Buffalo 0

ST. CLOUD - No. 4 seed Elk River/Zimmerman completed its improbable run to the state tourney, beating No. 6  seed Buffalo 3-0 on Wednesday in the Section 8AA championship game at the Municipal Athletic Complex.

Great goaltending has been the Elks' strength all season, and junior Gavin Greniuk turned in another outstanding performance, stopping 24 shots to notch his eighth-straight win.

Daniel Babcock and Tristan Kriech scored in the first period for the Elks (18-9-1), and Kole Mears added a second-period goal.

Max Varner made 24 saves for Buffalo (10-17-1).

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Hermantown 4, Hibbing/Chisholm 0

DULUTH - Senior Dane Callaway stopped 27 shots as No. 1 seed Hermantown beat No. 3 seed Hibbing/Chisholm 4-0 at Amsoil Arena to win the Section 7A championship for the fifth straight year and 10th time in the last 11 seasons.

Ford Skytta had a goal and an assist and senior defenseman Weston Bohlman added three assists for the No. 1-1A Hawks (18-8-2), who led 1-0 after the opening period and 3-0 heading into the third.

Rex Walli made 40 saves for the No. 13-1A Bluejackets (19-9-0), who reached the Section 7A title game for the first time since 2016.

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St. Cloud Cathedral 4, Monticello 1

ELK RIVER - Griffin Sturm scored a goal and added an assist as No. 1 seed St. Cloud Cathedral beat No. 2 seed Monticello 4-1 in the Section 5A title game at the Furniture and Things Community Event Center.

Sturm scored late in the first period to put No. 2-1A Cathedral (23-4-1) ahead 3-0. 

Micah Sieben scored 3:20 into the third period to pull No. 11-1A Monticello (21-6-1) to within 3-1.

Joey Gillespie's empty-net goal clinched the win for the Crusaders, who beat Monticello 3-0 in their regular season finale on Feb. 15.

Owen Soderholm made 35 saves for the Moose.

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Orono 4, Minneapolis 1

ST. LOUIS PARK - Tommy Lewin had a goal and two assists as No. 1 seed Orono beat No. 3 seed Minneapolis 4-1 in the Section 2A championship game at the St. Louis Park Rec Center to earn a second-straight trip to the state tournament.

Lewin's empty-net goal came with 1:57 remaining. He assisted on Rory Kvren's goal that opened the first-period scoring.

Eli Milinkovich scored a first-period goal for Minneapolis (12-16-0).

Peyton Anderson made 25 saves for No. 6-1A Orono (20-8-0).

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Northfield 4, Dodge County 1

ROCHESTER - Cayden Monson had a goal and an assist and Ty Frank stopped 14 of 15 shots as No. 1 seed Nothfield beat No. 2 seed Dodge County 4-1 in the Section 1A championship game at the Rochester Rec Center.

The game was scoreless deep into the second period when Will Cashin scored for No. 8-1A Northfield (22-4-2). 

Gideon Ellinghysen scored 5:24 into the third period to pull No. 18-1A Dodge County (19-8-1) to within 2-1.

Northfield's Monson and Micheal Steward completed the scoring.

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New Ulm 4, Marshall 2

ST. PETER - Ian Brudelie scored twice as No. 2 seed New Ulm topped No. 5 seed Marshall 4-2 at Lund Arena on the Gustavus Adolphus College campus.

Brudelie, a junior forward who has 17 goals this season, put the No. 20-1A Eagles (23-5-0) ahead 3-1 with power-play goal early in the second period. He added a goal midway through the third to complete the scoring.

Marshall (16-12-0) closed to within 3-2 on Andrew Seanor's goal with 8:27 left in the third.

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