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Grand Rapids beats White Bear Lake on goal with 1.6 seconds left

By Legacy Hockey staff, 03/07/24, 10:15PM CST


State Class 2A quarterfinal: Nathan Garski scores winner for Thunderhawks; Bears' lose 20th straight quarterfinal

Grand Rapids players and fans celebrate Nathan Garski's game-winning goal against White Bear Lake with 1.6 seconds remaining in the game. Photo by Jeff Lawler,

Quick Recap

Nathan Garski scored with 1.6 seconds left in the third period to lift No. 5 seed Grand Rapids past No. 4 seed White Bear Lake 2-1 on Thursday in a state Class 1A quarterfinal at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. 

Garski scored his 18th goal of the season off a feed from Will Shermoen. Garski cut through the slot and around the outstretched leg of White Bear Lake goaltender Leo Gabriel before slamming the puck home.

White Bear Lake entered the tourney having lost all 19 of its previous quarterfinal games.The Bears’ first first state tourney appearance came in 1945.

White Bear Lake’s Jack Stanius tied the score at 1-1 with 1:34 remaining, firing a low shot that beat Grand Rapids goaltender Carter Casey.

Sophomore Will Shermoen’s goal 4:04 into the first period was all the scoring through two periods as Grand Rapids led White Bear Lake 1-0 on Thursday heading into the third period of their state Class 2A quarterfinal at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Shermoen’s goal was his fifth of the season.

Grand Rapids, the No. 5 seed, outshot No. 4-seeded White Bear Lake 12-8 in the first period. The No. 18-2A Bears (20-7-1) had a 7-5 advantage in shots in the second period over the No. 16-2A Thunderhawks (17-11-0).

White Bear Lake beat Grand Rapids 2-0 in Grand Rapids on Jan. 19 in the teams’ lone regular season meeting.

Key Moment

Grand Rapids forward Nathan Garski looked up at the clock with about 6 seconds remaining and figured there was time to make one more push at the White Bear Lake goal. Will Shermoen was thinking the same, and fed the puck to Garski for the winning goal with 1.6 seconds left.

By the Numbers

20,208 - Announced attendance for the evening session of Thursday's Class 2A quarterfinals.

22 - Shots blocked by Grand Rapids. Eleven players were credited with a blocked shot.

92 - The seconds between White Bear Lake's tying goal with 1:34 remaining and Grand Rapids' game-winning goal with 1.6 seconds remaining.

4 - Grand Rapids' win streak at the state tournament. The Thunderhawks won the 2017 tourney.

They Said It

I felt like we had six goalies out there all night.

- Grand Rapids sophomore goaltender Carter Casey on his team's play in front of him (the Thunderhawks blocked a whopping 22 shots, including five by senior forward Kyler Miller)

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