St. Thomas Academy's Willie Reim (23) had a second period hat trick Saturday against Eagan in the Class 2A Section 3 semifinal matchup. The Cadets beat the Wildcats 4-1. Photo by Korey McDermott, SportsEngine
Eagan students look on during action as their boys face off against St Paul Academy Feb. 25. Photo by Korey McDermott, SportsEngine
Top-seeded St. Thomas Academy clobbered No. 4 Eagan 4-1 on Saturday afternoon to advance to the Class 2A, Section 3 boys' hockey final for the eighth consecutive year.
Senior Willie Reim, who totaled the fourth-most points in the Metro East Conference during the regular season, led the way for the Cadets (22-4-1, 9-2-0). Reim mustered a hat trick with all three goals coming in the second period.
Seven Cadets posted points in the contest, which took place at the Veterans’ Memorial Community Center in Inver Grove Heights.
Despite the loss, Eagan got on the scoreboard first. Wildcats sophomore Keegan Johnson opened the scoring when he slipped a shot past St. Thomas’ Atticus Kelly at 7:42 in the first period. From then on, the game was all Cadets.
St. Thomas, ranked No. 7 in Class 2A in the state coaches' poll, attacked at a furious pace on offense and smothered the Wildcats on defense. The Cadets outshot Eagan 39 to 22. Eagan (15-12, 8-10) had difficulty even attempting shots in the third period.
Kelly, a junior, saved 21 of 22 shots on goal to earn the win for St. Thomas Academy. Eagan goalie, senior Jeremy Manzella, saved 35 of 39.
The Cadets will meet the winner of this afternoon’s game between No. 2 Burnsville and No. 6 Bloomington Jefferson in the section final next Thursday. The game will be played at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.
St. Thomas Academy, who claimed the Class 2A, Section 3 title in 2015, lost the championship game to Burnsville in 2016.
Cadet freshman forward Henry Reiff (11) nets the equalizer after the Wildcats took and early 1-0 lead. Photo by Korey McDermott, SportsEngine
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