East Grand Forks defenseman Luke Vonesh (2), left, chases St. Cloud Cathedral forward Nate Warner (8) in the first period. Photo: LEILA NAVIDI ¥ firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, on its ninth state tournament trip and seventh semifinal appearance, St. Cloud Cathedral broke through and reached its first championship game.
The second-seeded Crusaders defeated East Grand Forks 6-2 on Friday in the Class 1A semifinal. They advance to the title game at noon Saturday against No. 4 Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin, who they defeated 5-3 earlier this season.
“There have been a lot of good teams that haven’t been able to get past the semis,” junior forward Jack Smith said. “We’re a bunch of guys who work hard and get the puck in the net.”
The Crusaders (26-4) found their scoring touch early, getting goals from Smith plus second-line forwards Ethan Cumming and Cullen Hiltner for a 3-1 lead after one period.