STATE BOYS HOCKEY: Minot claims 5-4 quarterfinal win against Grand Forks Red River
Minot couldn’t get a game-winner with five minutes worth of power play.
Shorthanded, however, the Magicians advanced to the semifinals of the North Dakota Class A boys high school hockey tournament.
Hayden Schwarz’ shorthanded goal with 3:29 left in overtime gave Minot a 5-4 state quarterfinal win Thursday against Grand Forks Red River.
“Our power play was atrocious at times tonight,” Minot coach Chad Burckhard said. “But then we take one (penalty) of our own. We’ll definitely take the shorthanded goal.”
Schwarz took control of a pass in the neutral zone and wound up on a 2-on-1 breakaway. He kept the puck, scoring from the left circle for the game-winner.
“We’ve had a decent amount (of shorthanded goals),” Burckhard said. “We have kids who can score. Hayden is one of them. We’ll take our chances with him in that situation any time.”
Schwarz also had given the Magicians a 4-3 lead with 10:33 left. After Jordan Lunski’s second goal of the game pulled Red River even with a score at 10:23 in the third, Schwarz won the faceoff and scored 10 seconds later on a breakaway and a 4-3 lead.
But Red River forced overtime on a strong effort by Sam Bye. The senior’s shot from the right circle was deflected by a defender. But Bye followed the shot, poked the puck free from an opponent and scored from short range with 4:05 left in regulation.
Red River took a major penalty with 3:46 left in regulation, but Minot wasn’t able to take advantage of five minutes of 5-on-4.
“When we killed the five-minute major, we felt momentum going our way,” Red River coach Bill Chase said. “Then we go on the power play and we’re on a high. But the puck squirted out, they picked it up and boom, they’re going 2-on-1.
“We only gave up (23) shots on goal. But a lot of them were breakaways or 2-on-1s. It’s tough to win when you give up too many odd-man situations.”
The end of the five-minute power play also was tough for the Minot bench. “Coming off that power play, we were in trouble,” Burckhard said.
The game was close throughout, with neither team managing more than a one-goal lead.
For Minot, it ended a long drought of quarterfinal wins. The win marked the first time that Minot has made the semifinals since 1992, the year the Magicians won the tournament.
“We’ve waited 22 years for this,” Burckhard said. “A first-round win, it feels good.”