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Big city Spuds; Moorhead moves on

By Pete Waggoner, 03/13/09, 9:23PM CDT


Moorhead edges Cretin in AA semis, 2-1

St. Paul, MN

Two upset specials met in the semifinals of the 2009 Minnesota State High School Hockey tournament as the Moorhead Spuds defeated the Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders by a score of 2-1. The game was as close as the score indicated as the two teams did not show any ill effects of “jet lag”. In fact, it was the Raiders who dictated the pace in the early going.

Moorhead, known as a physically strong and quick team were able to score a text book hard working playoff goal at 8:19 of the first period as Braden Rahman began the play high at the Cretin Blue line as he as positioned with the puck straight up the gut. He sent a left wing pass to Alex Altenbernd who took the puck wide and worked an angle to the net. Rahmen darted straight up the middle with his stick on the ice and redirected the pass over the sprawled Ben Walsh for the 1-0 lead.

The goal did not slow down the Raider pace as they continued to take it to the Spuds. Moorhead responded however, and the game became more of a back and forth chess match until the Raiders tied it at two at 13:35 of the second period. Tony Barbato won a key battle on the right wing boards at the hash marks and fed Bob Kinne who was open with the ability to take a couple of strides. He moved in on goal just off the right circle and buried the puck clean past Moorhead goalie Logan Marks.

The mark of a good squad is one that responds after pressure, and the Spuds are a good squad. Jordan Doschadis scored 1:25 after the goal as he was fed a pass in the slot by Altenbernd and pulled Walsh to his forehand. Walsh bit on the partial breakaway and it was Doschadis who pulled the puck to his backhand and tucked it in for the 2-1 lead.

In the third period, the game plodded along with each team fearing the big mistake. Eventually the ice loosened up a bit and the Raiders started to gain momentum. They hit two posts in the third period and had several quality chances. Typically it was defenseman Mark Alt who was behind the chances. Marks shut the door and is beginning to look like a championship goaltender as he was huge in making his 17 saves. He was not flashy, but positionally sound.

The Raiders (21-8-1) pulled Walsh for one last ditch effort but were denied as the Spuds (17-9-3) were dedicated in the defensive and neutral zones. They won a good portion of their battles in key times and limited the Raiders scoring chances.

The victory sets up the State Class 2A championship game with Eden Prairie as the No. 1 team in the MyFoxHockey.com rankings will have their work cut out for them with a team that is built for the playoffs in the Moorhead Spuds. The Raiders will face off with Blaine in the third place game on Saturday afternoon.