Crusaders Advance To State Semi-Finals

Crusaders Advance To State Semi-Finals Click to Enlarge Photo: KNSI Sports

(KNSI) - The 75th Minnesota State Boys High School Hockey Tournament started in epic fashion for the St. Cloud Cathedral Crusaders.

Both teams had plenty of chances in their offensive zones but the goalies faced few shots to start the first period.

Cathedral started a little rusty as Blake Perbix missed a wide-open net by hitting the side of the goal.

Noah Amundson proved up to the challenge as he stone-walled Cody Croal to keep the score knotted at zero.

The Crusaders went on the power play with 6:08 left in the first period but North Branch killed it off nicely even though Cathedral was on

Jackson Sovoie ended the stale-mate for Cathedral by ricocheting a puck off goaltender, Jake Turek on a loose puck.

Ethan Cumming and CJ Zins were credited with assists on the scrappy goal.

The Vikings were called for another interference penalty to end the first period but Cathedral had to settle for the 1-0 advantage after one period.

North Branch attempted to kill-off a power play to start the second period but Cathedral was relentless and ended going up 2-0 after Jack Smith buried the puck unassisted.

The Vikings then went on the power play at the 3:49 mark in the second period but could not get anything going offensively.

However, Nate Warner put the Crusaders up by three and then by four after scoring short handed and at full strength to put Cathedral up 4-0.

Warner (pictured top photo below during the regular season) sent the hats flying from the Cathedral faithful with 2:31 left in the second period for a hat-trick to put Cathedral up comfortably 5-0.

Turek allowed a rare five-hole puck slip through when Luke Schmidt redirected a shot from Zins to put the Crusaders up 6-0.

Cathedral out shot the Vikings 21 to 1 in the second period alone to lead the category 30-11 after two frames.

Schmidt added another goal to put the Crusaders up 7-0 and that was the final score as Cathedral moves on to the semi-finals.

Vikings’ goaltender Turek continued to be impressive; despite giving up six goals, he stopped 35 shots.

Amundson (pictured below, bottom photo) continued his hot-streak by stopping all 15 shots the Vikings put on net.

Nate Warner was name the All-Star Trophy and Awards Player of the Game by racking up three goals and proving why he is important to the Crusaders.

Cathedral’s next game will be against the winner of the game between East Grand Forks and Minnesota River.

That game will be Friday, March 8th at 11:00 a.m. at the Excel Energy Center and can be heard once again on KNSI and the KNSI Sports Network.

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