The last time Mounds View and Stillwater met in the regular season, the game ended in a tie after a scoreless overtime.
With a trip to the Section 4AA semifinals on the line, the No. 5-seeded Mustangs and No. 4 Ponies found themselves right back in that same situation on Saturday, Feb. 23, at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood.
After three periods of regulation play and an eight-minute overtime, Mounds View and Stillwater remained tied.
A 17-minute overtime period was loaded on the clock, but the Ponies would only need 14 seconds to earn a 3-2 victory and semifinal date with Hill-Murray on Tuesday at the State Fairgrounds Coliseum.
Stationed in front of Mounds View’s goal, Stillwater junior forward Aaron Kasinak extended his stick as the puck rebounded in front of him. He connected, and the puck sailed over goalie Brandon Smith’s head and fell into the back of the net.
“We knew we needed to get shots on the net, get bodies to the net and just go hard,” Kasinak said. “Mounds View wrapped it around the boards and my buddy Nick [Anderson] chipped it over, out to center ice and I just made a move and shot it into the net.”
Junior Devin Cates, the Ponies’ scoring leader, scored 3 minutes, 38 seconds into the third period to tie the score at 2.
Mounds View (13-10-3) had taken a 2-1 lead on goals 42 second apart by Darian Romanko and Tucker Gran.
While the second overtime ended quickly, the rest of the game moved along at a slower pace.
Senior forward Jarrid Balz got Stillwater (10-14-2) on the board early in the first period with an assist from Peyton Gosso and Blake Kohanek, but neither team scored again until the third period.
“There was a lot of structure out there,” Stillwater coach Phil Housley said. “Sometimes it’s a slow-paced game or you’re are trying to just make the right decision, not force anything or make a mistake. You could see at times there were some momentum pushes on both sides.”
The teams' Feb. 2 meeting ended in a 2-2 tie.
Stillwater senior goalie Colton Anderson made five saves in the first overtime and finished with 26 in all.
“He made some really big saves,” Housley said.
2. Colton Anderson, Stillwater
The senior goaltender Colton Anderson was outstanding in making 26 saves, and he was at his best in the first overtime when he turned aside five shots.
3. Darian Romanko, Mounds View
The senior forward's breakaway goal early in the third period swung the momentum toward the Mustangs.