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Fast start propels St. Thomas Academy past Wayzata in Schwan Cup Gold Division quarterfinal

By Drew Herron, SportsEngine, 12/28/16, 7:30AM CST


The Cadets defeated the Trojans to advance to face either Centennial or Minnetonka in the semifinals.

St. Thomas Academy's Willie Reim and Wayzata's Tyler Stevens battle for the puck during the second period Thursday at Ridder Arena. St. Thomas Academy defeated Wayzata 3-1. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine

The Cadets celebrate Willie Reim's (23) goal late in the first period Thursday. The Cadets defeated Wayzata 3-1 in the Schwan Cup Gold Division quarterfinal at Ridder Arena. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine

St. Thomas Academy stormed its way to two first-period goals, a difference that ultimately held up as the Cadets skated past Wayzata 3-1 in Thursday’s Schwan Cup Gold Division quarterfinal at Ridder Arena.

Ray Christy gave the Cadets the game's first lead when he buried a wrist shot on a breakaway with 6:33 left in the opening period. Four minutes later, St. Thomas Academy added to its advantage when Willie Reim knocked home a rebound that proved to be the eventual game-winner.

That’s all the Cadets required as playing with the lead allowed St. Thomas Academy to employ its own brand of hockey.

“It’s nice when a big play, whether it’s a goal or a big hit, it gets everyone going and together on the same page,” Christy said. “We were able to build off that, and play what we like to call ‘Cadet Hockey.’ That means hard, aggressive, two-way hockey.”

Wayzata trimmed the deficit to 2-1 late in the second when freshman Ryan Mulrenin netted a power-play goal, but the Trojans never got any closer.

St. Thomas Academy (7-1-1), ranked No. 5 in the Class 2A coaches' poll, advances to face the winner of Centennial versus Minnetonka matchup in Friday evening’s semifinals.

The Cadets will pocket this win over No. 18-2A Wayzata (3-6) and move forward with continued confidence.

“Anytime you defeat a quality opponent like Wayzata, who happens to be the defending state champion, then you feel like you are moving in the right direction," St. Thomas Academy co-coach Tom Vanelli said.

St. Thomas Academy goaltender Vinny Capezza stopped 20 shots while Wayzata goaltender Sawyer Andersen stopped 21, with the Cadets notching an empty-netter.

St. Thomas Academy's Ray Christy slips the puck past Wayzata goaltender Sawyer Anderson to score the first goal of the game Thursday. St. Thomas defeated Wayzata 3-1. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine

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