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Minnetonka, Benilde-St. Margaret's post shutouts

By AARON PAITICH, Special to the Star T ribune, 02/26/12, 1:44AM CST


The Skippers continued their roll; Armstrong's ended in the semifinals.

Paul Ciaccio hasn't given up a goal in his past 10 periods of play. He's still not the designated No. 1 goalie for No. 2 Minnetonka, which has been rotating goalies all season.

"It's been working pretty well so far, so I don't have any complaints," Ciaccio said, after helping the Skippers post a 3-0 victory over Wayzata in Saturday afternoon's Class 2A, Section 6 semifinals.

Senior Matt Behounek finished the regular season with a 10-2 record in goal. Ciaccio was 12-1 and posted shutouts in his past three starts, against Wayzata, Minneapolis and Eden Prairie.

With a fresh 18-save performance in hand, the junior goalie is creating difficult choices for coach Brian Urick.

"It's just hard when you have two kids that want to play so bad," Urick said. "We'll make the decision that's best for the team, but yeah, it's hard to do."

Ciaccio bailed out his teammates early on Saturday. He stuffed Alec Waszczenko on a point-blank one-timer. Several odd-man rushes created premium scoring chances for the Trojans in the first period, but Ciaccio never wavered.

Midway through the period, Minnetonka's Connor Thie feathered a pass into the slot from behind the net, where Sam Rothstein had cruised in all alone, and roofed a slap shot.

Erik Baskin scored in similar fashion in the middle of the second period, again from Thie. Baskin finished with one goal and an assist.

With three minutes left in the second period, junior forward Justin Bader added the final tally, assisted by Jared Ridge.

Urick wasn't sure which goaltender would get the start in Wednesday's section final at Mariucci Arena. Ciaccio said he will go with the flow.

"Just take it one shot a time," Ciaccio said.

Benilde St. Margaret's 5, Armstrong 0

The Falcons' honeymoon ended with a shutout loss to the Red Knights in the Section 6 semifinals at Bloomington Ice Gardens.

After stopping 49 of 50 shots in Thursday's 2-1 upset of defending state champion Eden Prairie, Armstrong senior goalie Michael Greenberg kept things interesting in early on.

Alec Anderson found Zach Hale all alone in the slot midway through the first period. He buried his chance, giving the Red Knights a 1-0 lead that would hold up through the frame.

Christian Horn scored two goals and T.J. Moore tallied an empty-netter to cap the scoring and send Benilde-St. Margaret's to the section final, against Minnetonka on Wednesday night.

Winning goalie Justin Quale stopped 22 shots for the shutout.

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