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St. Cloud Cathedral goaltender verifies he is human

By Loren Nelson, Legacy Hockey, 03/06/24, 5:00PM CST


The Crusaders' Nick Hansen, undefeated this season, admits to some early jitters in state quarterfinal

St. Cloud Cathedral goaltender Nick Hansen is 17-0-1 this season after Wednesday's state Class 1A quarterfinal win over Northfield. Photo by Jeff Lawler,

St. Cloud Cathedral encountered what coach Robbie Stocker described as a “rough stretch” during the midpoint of their season.

Rough stretch? The Crusaders found themselves on a pothole-covered, never maintained, back country logging trail headed to nowhere. All that was missing were shards of glass and flowing lava. 

Things got ugly from mid-December to early January. Three losses in five games and four in nine.

Decidedly poor results from a Cathedral team that went undefeated during its first seven games of the season, was ranked in the top three in Class 1A for much of the season and, after Wednesday’s 5-1 state Class 1A quarterfinal victory over Northfield at the Xcel Energy Center, are owners of a 13-game winning streak.

“Once we shored things up on defense and got our leader back in net, we’ve had a lot of confidence moving forward,” Stocker said.

The leader in net Stocker referred to is Nick Hansen, whose mid-season injury coincided with Cathedral’s midseason swoon. When Hansen is in net the Crusaders win. Period. He is is 17-0-1 this season.

“Nick has been great for us all year, just rock solid,” Cathedral sophomore defenseman Griffin Sturm said. “Holding the team together. When we’re struggling he picks us up. When he’s struggling we pick him up. It works out nicely.”

Hansen stopped 19 of 20 shots against the Raiders, upping his season save percentage to .936.

“Yeah, there are nerves, we’re back in the state tournament,” Hansen said, verifying that he isn’t some sort of superhero impervious to all feeling and emotion, even if the numbers suggest otherwise.

Hansen has allowed just seven goals in his last nine games, stopping 159 of 166 shots. He’s allowed more than one goal just three times in his last 12 games.

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