Hill-Murray forward Nate Hardy (10) controlled the puck as Moorhead forward Cullen Gess (14) fell to the ice in the first period. Photo: Aaron Lavinsky • firstname.lastname@example.org
Seeded lower for the state tournament than Moorhead despite beating the Spuds a few weeks ago. A desire to end a 0-3 slump in Class 2A quarterfinal games.
Whatever the motivation, Hill-Murray dominated the rematch 5-1 on Thursday. Moorhead defenseman Luke Gramer praised the Pioneers’ relentless play, and that sounded good to sophomore Nick Pierre.
“We want to be that team that’s really hard to play against,” Pierre said.
Senior Charlie Strobel started the party for No. 5 seed Hill-Murray (20-6-3) with a goal at 3:45 of the first period. Pierre made it 2-0 at first intermission.
Earlier this week, Moorhead boys’ hockey coach Jon Ammerman joked how glad he was to not have to play state tournament quarterfinal opponent Hill-Murray in Moorhead.
Ammerman was referencing the hat trick scored by the Pioneers’ Nick Pierre in the teams’ previous meeting on Feb. 15, a 4-3 Hill-Murray road victory.
Pierre, a sophomore, brought great speed back with him to the Xcel Energy Center ice. He scored twice in the Pioneers’ 5-1 victory against Moorhead on Thursday’ in the last Class 2A quarterfinal.
Senior Charlie Strobel started the scoring for No. 5 seed Hill-Murray (20-6-3) with a goal at 3:45 of the first period. Pierre made it 2-0 at first intermission.
Moorhead’s Luke Gramer, a Mr. Hockey Award finalist, cut the deficit with a power-play goal early in the second period. But Pierre answered a little more than one minute later.
No. 4 seed Moorhead (21-6-1) fell behind 5-1 by the end of period two on two goals from Hill-Murray junior Jared Jensen scored just 14 seconds apart.
Check back later for more on the game.
Hill-Murray defensemen Seamus Regan (20) and Axel Begley (26), and forward Charlie Strobel (27) celebrated Strobel's first period goal against Moorhead. Photo: Aaron Lavinsky • email@example.com