Andover forward Logan Gravink (22, far right) scored the winning goal against Maple Grove during the second overtime Saturday. Photos by AARON LAVINSKY, Star Tribune
Andover and Maple Grove knew each other’s boys’ hockey teams so well, Crimson coach Todd Bergland joked the Class 2A state tournament championship game could be “a fantastic 17-overtime game.”
Bergland’s prediction proved half correct.
These championship game newcomers skated fast, checked hard and traded goals throughout Saturday night’s memorable title game at Xcel Energy Center. Andover emerged with a 6-5 double-overtime victory.
Senior forward Logan Gravink scored at 8:59 of the second overtime period to win the all-important third meeting this season of rising Northwest Suburban Conference powers.
“Lou Nanne came and talked to the boys and said this was the best hockey game he’s seen since 1969,” Andover coach Mark Manney said of the state tournament analyst since 1964. “It was fun on the bench and probably a great game to play in. Fortunately, we got the bounce and Logan finished it for us.”
A year ago, Maple Grove fell in overtime of the state tournament semifinals by a 6-5 score.
“Just to keep getting one step further every single year and still not getting it, it’s really hard,” senior Josh Giuliani said.
Giuliani’s hat trick knotted the game at 4-4 in the third period. Giuliani also lit the lamp three times in the semifinals against Prior Lake.
Teammate Chayton Fischer had put No. 3 seed Maple Grove (23-7-1) ahead 5-4 at 10:54 of a wild third period.
Andover’s Gavyn Thoreson made the bonus hockey possible. He redirected a puck with 1:50 remaining in regulation, producing a 5-5 tie and continuing his remarkable state tournament run for No. 5 seed Andover (25-5-1). He scored in overtime to beat Moorhead and tallied two goals against Hill-Murray.
The third period mirrored the first. Goals went both ways and leads changed hands. The second period ranked as equally compelling thanks to swift skating from both teams.
Finn Brink gave Maple Grove a 1-0 lead just 12 seconds into the game. Giuliani produced a two-goal Crimson advantage less than five minutes into the game.
Andover rallied to later tie the game 3-3 as rushing defenseman Weston Knox received a pass from Thoreson in the slot and buried the puck.
Andover won the first game of their conference series 5-3 on Dec. 16. Maple Grove returned the favor with a 4-1 victory Feb. 12.
Saturday’s championship makes Andover hockey the ultimate winter state tournament winner. The girls’ program completed an undefeated season two weeks ago.
“A lot of people got to see one hell of a hockey game,” Maple Grove coach Todd Bergland said. “It’s a good way to bring it back out of COVID and give the fans something amazing. It’s unfortunate someone has to lose a game like that.”
1. Logan Gravink, Andover: The senior captain scored the championship-winning goal in double overtime.
2. Gavyn Thoreson, Andover: A junior, he tied the score 5-5 with 1:50 left in regulation, sending the game to overtime. He added two assists.
3. Joshua Giuliani, Maple Grove: The senior forward scored his second hat trick in as many nights, giving him eight goals for the tournament.
BY THE NUMBERS
The score by which Maple Grove lost to Eden Prairie in overtime of last year’s state semifinals. Also the final score Saturday.
The amount of its goal scoring Maple Grove lost when 11 seniors graduated last season.
Boys’ hockey state championships won by Andover.
CLASS 2A ATTENDANCE
Thursday day: 19,641
Thursday night: 18,546
Friday night: 20,529
Saturday night: 18,950
Tournament (including 1A): 107,550