St. Cloud Cathedral forward Nate Warner (8) scored a power play goal past Mankato East goaltender Caelin Brueske (30) in the second period. Photo: Shari L. Gross • email@example.com
For a few minutes in the first period, underdog Mankato East/Loyola matched defending champion St. Cloud Cathedral in goals and big plays.
Mankato East/Loyola gave up a shorthanded goal but came right back with a power-play goal, a response that coach Adam Fries said “gave our bench a lot of life, that breath of air like, ‘Hey, we scored a goal against a really good team so let’s give it all we’ve got.’ ”
Meanwhile, St. Cloud Cathedral coach Derrick Brown wasn’t holding his breath. He knew what his guys were capable of doing. Sure enough, the Crusaders scored three more times before first intermission and cruised to an 11-2 victory Wednesday in the Class 1A quarterfinal at Xcel Energy Center.
“It was good that we could stretch that thing from 2-1 to 4-1 pretty quickly,” Brown said. “I felt really confident going into the room after that.”
Defending Class 1A state champion St. Cloud Cathedral crushed Mankato East/Loyola by an 11-2 score Wednesday in the first quarterfinal at Xcel Energy Center.
The Crusaders took a penalty in the first minute but Reid Bogenholm scored a shorthanded goal. Mankato East drew even on a power-play goal from the point by Jake Schreiber.
The tie game was short-lived. Goals from Bradyn Balfanz, Jack Smith and Jon Bell put No. 2 seed St. Cloud Cathedral (24-3-1) ahead to stay by the end of the first period. Smith scored again in the second period.
Mankato East/Loyola (14-14-1) just couldn’t match the Crusaders’ skill and speed.
Check back later for more on the game.