QUARTERFINALS St. Thomas Academy (No. 3, 24-4) vs. Duluth East (14-10-4), 1 p.m. Thursday
Scouting St. Thomas Academy: The Cadets took skill and skating ability — both program hallmarks — to new heights this season. No tournament team has more goals (166). Forward Peter Tufto’s 73 points and defenseman Seamus Donohue’s 34 assists are both two shy of program records. “To put the finishing touches on it, we’ll need to be a little more gritty and compete harder physically,” co-head coach Tom Vannelli said. Keep an eye on senior Alec Broetzman. Overshadowed on a team with two Mr. Hockey finalists in Tufto and Christiano Versich, Broetzman has scored 35 goals.
Scouting Duluth East: No one expected the Greyhounds to be here and that’s not false modesty. “We heard it all year how this was the worst East team, how we would have the first losing record in program history,” coach Mike Randolph said. “But Brian Bunten and Nick Altmann run that bus. They are the hardest-working captains I ever had. And to their credit, the kids stayed with it.” Duluth East upset Elk River/Zimmerman in the Section 7 final and, despite a pedestrian record, reached its seventh consecutive state tournament. “We’ll get our looks against St. Thomas Academy,” Randolph said. “We just have to keep ourselves within reach.”
Worth knowing: St. Thomas Academy, located in Mendota Heights, makes its Class 2A tournament debut after winning five Class 1A titles between 2006 and 2014.
DAVID LA VAQUE