St. Thomas Academy's Robbie Stucker (right) scored his team's second goal past Bloomington Jefferson goalie Evan Redepenning in the frst period Thursday at Ridder Arena. Photo: RICHARD TSONG-TAATARII • firstname.lastname@example.org
Any rumblings of an upset in the Class 2A, Section 3 championship game between St. Thomas Academy and Bloomington Jefferson were silenced in 24 seconds of play during the final minute of the first period.
Holding their own against the top-seeded Cadets, the sixth-seeded Jaguars looked poised to go into the locker room Thursday at Ridder Arena tied 0-0. Then Brenden McFadden scored on a cross crease pass, making it 1-0, and 24 seconds later Robbie Stucker did the same on a nearly identical play.
The momentum-swinging goals propelled St. Thomas Academy (23-4-1), ranked No. 7 in the state, to a 7-0 victory.
“Whenever a team is an underdog like they were ,and if they can get a lead, then they believe in themselves.” Cadet coach Greg Vannelli said. “Us getting that two-goal lead was huge because we play good with the lead.”
Cadet forwards Ryan O’Neill and Chase Foley each scored goals in the second period. Rob Christy and Ray Christy scored in the third period and Stucker, with the game in running time, scored his second goal.
Jaguars goaltender Evan Redepenning stopped 22 of 29 shots and was pulled for Karl Huther, who stopped all four shots he faced.
Bloomington Jefferson (11-16-1) failed to put much pressure on St. Thomas Academy goalie Atticus Kelly, who made 16 saves.
“We mishandled the puck like three times and two of them lead to goals,” Jaguars coach Jeff Lindquist said. “We were playing sound but those two mishandles cost us.”
St. Thomas Academy routed Bloomington Jefferson 7-0 in the Class 2A, Section 3 championship Thursday at Ridder Arena to advance to the state tournament.
During the first 16 minutes of play, it looked like the Jaguars were not going to give the Cadets an easy out. But No. 7-ranked St. Thomas Academy scored two goals in 24 seconds, the first by Brendan McFadden and the second from Robbie Stucker.
That was just the beginning. The Cadets, who first reached the Class 2A tournament in 2015, scored two more in the second period and three in the third.
St. Thomas Academy goaltender Atticus Kelly stopped all 16 shots he faced and was never really challenged after the first period.
Jaguars’ goalie Evan Redepenning struggled to recover after the first period and made 22 saves.He was replaced by Karl Huther, who stopped all four shots he faced..
This will be the Cadets’ 10th overall state tournament appearance, The first eight were made while competing in Class 1A.
Check back later for more on the game.