Bloomington Jefferson's Blake Samuel (22) scored a 3rd period goal that broke a 2-2 tie with Bursville, and gave the Jaguars a 3-2 victory in their Class 2A, Section 3 semifinal game. Photo by Korey McDermott, SportsEngine.
The Class 2A, Section 3 boys' hockey tournament will have a new champion in 2017.
Sixth-seeded Bloomington Jefferson took down defending title-holder and No. 2 seed Burnsville 3-2 in a thrillingly physical contest on Saturday afternoon at the Veterans’ Memorial Community Center in Inver Grove Heights.
The Jaguars will face top-seeded St. Thomas Academy in the section title game on Thursday night at Ridder Arena. It will be Bloomington Jefferson’s first trip to the section championship since 2014.
Junior forward Blake Camuel netted the decisive goal, breaking a 2-2 tie at 6:33 in the third period. Jefferson's goalie, junior Evan Redepenning, was superb—he stopped 39 of 41 Burnsville shots on goal to secure the win.
The Blaze (17-9-1) outshot the Jaguars 41-26. Still, Redepenning and the Bloomington defense showed their steel and held Burnsville in check throughout the game’s latter stages.
Burnsville's offense came up short time and again, even squandering a 5-on-3 opportunity early in the third period.
Senior Bob Lescarbeau and junior Hunter Jacobs scored the other goals for Bloomington Jefferson (11-15-1) in the first and second periods, respectively. Both finished with a pair of points on the afternoon, as did junior defenseman Tristan Larson, who assisted on both of Bloomington Jefferson’s first two scores.
Sophomore Connor Thomas and senior Ryan Pearson scored Burnsville’s two goals. The Blaze's goalie, senior Josh Kenney, saved 23 of 26 shots.
Bloomington Jefferson’s wild season will proceed into next week. The Jaguars won the Metro West Conference, finishing with a 6-2 record in divisional play despite a losing mark of 9-15-1 on the season.
The Jaguars upset No. 3 Eastview on Thursday to advance to the section semis. After taking down both the third and second seeds, Bloomington now sets its sights on top-ranked St. Thomas Academy.
St. Thomas, who won the section title in 2015, defeated Eagan 4-1 earlier in the day to secure their spot in the championship game.
Thursday’s match will carry extra significance for both squads. Besides playing for a trip to the state tournament, Bloomington Jefferson is seeking a measure of revenge against the Cadets. St. Thomas defeated Bloomington 6-3 in last year’s section semifinals.
This time, however, the stakes are even higher. If the Jaguars bring the same defensive intensity it demonstrated on Saturday, next week’s title bout will be a closely contested affair.
Jaguar goalie Evan Redepenning (1) tracks down a loose puck during play Saturday against Burnsville. Photo by Korey McDermott, SportsEngine
Burnsville goalie John Kenney looks behind him to see the Jaguars' Hunter Jacobs' (not pictured) game-tying goal in the second period. Photo by Korey McDermott, SportsEngine
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