Most players are lucky to have one season as a qualifier for the state hockey tournament.
But for Mahtomedi, which has won three consecutive Class 1A, Section 4 titles, a significant portion of its roster has experience playing March hockey at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
The Zephyrs, ranked No. 6 in the Class 1A coaches’ poll, looked ready for another run at a section title in a 2-0 victory over rival Smiley in Inver Grove Heights on Tuesday. The win helps Mahtomedi (13-5-0, 7-2-0) keep pace in the crowded Metro East Conference standings with contenders like Hastings and Hill-Murray.
Simley (9-10-0, 2-5-0) goaltender Hunter Sandnas did his part in keeping the Zephyrs off the scoreboard for one period, making eight saves before the first intermission. However, with a goal by JD Metz in the second period, and an Adam Johnson tally in the third, Mahtomedi’s offense finally took over.
It took a period for Mahtomedi to get going, but once it did the Zephyrs’ offense did plenty to notch a 2-0 victory over Metro East Conference rival Simley (9-10-0, 2-5-0) on Tuesday evening in Inver Grove Heights.
After a scoreless first period, the Zephyrs (13-5-0, 7-2-0) needed just 45 seconds for JD Metz to score, assisted by Nikolai Dulak and Tony Neubeck, giving the Zephyrs, ranked No. 6 in the Class 1A coaches' poll, a 1-0 lead on a rebound in the Spartans' zone.
Adam Johnson added a second goal for Mahtomedi with a third-period tally, which was assisted by Dulak.
Simley goaltender Hunter Sandnas made 23 saves in the loss, while Mahtomedi's Ben Dardis had 20 saves.
The MN Hockey Hub poll is for entertainment purposes only.