Duluth East forward Jack Kolar pressures Grand Rapids goaltender Hunter Shepard.
Duluth East's Phil Beaulieu, a senior defenseman and Mr. Hockey finalist, had a goal and an assist for the Greyhounds in their 5-2 triumph in the Section 7AA semifinals at Amsoil Arena on Saturday in Duluth.
Senior forward Avery Peterson of Grand Rapids, also a Mr. Hockey finalist, struck first, but Duluth East answered with an even strength goal from Maysen Rust.
"We knew every time Avery was on the ice we had to pay close attention," said Duluth East coach Mike Randolph, "but we really loosened up after that first goal."
Goals by Jack Kolar and Beaulieu helped the Greyhounds skate into the third period with a 3-1 lead on the Thunderhawks, but they weren't done yet.
Maysen Rust got his second goal of the game early in the period, a feat that not many forwards have had the luxury of experiencing against Grand Rapids' senior goaltender Hunter Shepard, one of two finalists for the Brimsek Award.
Thunderhawks sophomore Alex Adams cut Duluth East's lead in half at 4-2, but Alex Trapp gave the Greyhounds the insurance tally they needed to hold off Grand Rapids and advance to the section final game Thursday against Elk River at Amsoil Arena.
"Our goaltender was strong when he had to be, our defensemen were solid, and our forwards played one of their better games of the season," said Randolph. "It was an overall great team effort."