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The St. Cloud Cathedral Crusaders utilized their prime time players as Jordan Palusky led the way with a a pair of goals and assists and Nate Schmidt looked like an early candidate as a 2010 Mr. Hockey Candidate to lead the Crusaders won a controlling 5-2 game over the Mahtomedi Zephyrs. The win advanced the Crusaders to the State Semi-Final for the second straight season.
Schmidt fired an astonishing 12 shots on goal in leading all players in that category. It was his short handed goal that turned the tide of the game. He forced a turnover and marched the puck up ice. The strong junior cut to the middle and sliced through the defense and maneuvered a back hand past Zephyr goalie Brad Wohlers for the 2-0 lead.
Schmidt said it was a big goal, “It was a big goal; if it went the opposite way, it would have taken a whole lot of the momentum. Getting a late goal like that was a big thing going into the intermission.” The Crusaders felt as though they were in control as coach Eric Johnson said he would take the ugly win, “It wasn’t very pretty but there were times in there when we, obviously, played pretty well. But there’s some things to work on in tomorrow’s practice such as getting the puck out of the zone and picking guys up on the backcheck.”
The Crusaders improved to 26-2-1 and the Zephyrs fell to 20-7-2. Ben Marshall left the game with an undisclosed injury and his status was not readily known for their consolation round game Thursday morning.
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