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Great 8 Day 1: Kleven's hat trick fuels northern HP18s offensive torrent in Friday's opener

By Drew Herron, Minnesota Hockey, 03/24/18, 7:45PM CDT


White's Konnor Carlson (Simley) and Red goalie Jack Cusey (Mankato East) collide during a White scoring chance in the first half Friday at Doug Woog Arena. Photo by Drew Herron


Jacob Halvorson (Northfield) scored 58 seconds into opening round action Friday night to spark the White squad (Sections 4/5 Seniors) to a 3-0 shutout victory over the Red team (Sections 1/3 Seniors).

White added two late in the second half for good measure while the squad’s goaltending duo of Travis Allen (Centennial) and Maximillian Ellefson (Irondale) put up the proverbial wall by combining to stop all 28 shots they faced. Each goalie finished with 14 saves apiece.

Goals by Max Jennrich (White Bear Lake) and Konnor Carlson (Simley) came through with goals in the second half as White scored twice in a span of four minutes late in the second half to ice the victory. Brady Swanstrom (Champlin Park) and Michael Crosbie (Coon Rapids) assisted on the Jennrich goal. 

In net for the Red team, Jack Cusey (Mankato East) made 13 saves on 14 shots in the first half, and Jackson Killenger (Rochester Century) made eight saves on 10 shots.


Each side broke free with a pair of goals in the second half as Light Blue (Sections 4/5 HP18) and Gray (1/3 HP18) fired up the weekend with a 2-2 tie Friday evening at Doug Woog Arena.

Lucas Ryan (Redwood Valley) opened up the scoring with 17:17 remaining to give the Grays a lead for awhile. Daniel McCabe (Minnesota River) and Carter Eha (Bloomington Jefferson) assisted on the goal.

Light Blue would answer with the next two scores when they punched in a pair over a three-minute span. Daymin Dodge (Sauk Rapids) and Reed Bartleings (Minnehaha Academy) would swing the momentum back for Light Blue before Gray responded with 1:31 left on a goal by Eha, assisted by Tanner Stafne (East Ridge).

In goal for Light Blue, Joseph Daininger (Blaine) stopped all 10 shots he faced in the first half. In the second, Brennan Boynton (Champlin Park) made nine saves on 11 shots.

At the other end, Jacob Gathje (Rochester Mayo) was a perfect 8-for-8 in the first half, and Thomas Ogren (East Ridge) played out the second and stopped 14 of 16 shots.  


Kelly Green would score first, but a string of seven unanswered goals told the story Friday night at Doug Woog Arena in South St. Paul as team Purple powered its way to a 7-2 victory.

Kyler Kleven (Moorhead), who would finish with a hat trick, scored his first goal with 7:15 left in the first half to level the score before Purple (Sections 7/8 HP18) went to work on their fellow juniors from Sections 2 and 6. 

Tied 1-1 at the intermission, Kleven added another score 1:10 into the second half and Purple would lead the rest of the way.

Nick Dainty (Andover) scored twice for Purple, and Nikolai Rajala (Greenway) added two assists in the victory. Also scoring for Purple was Gavin Rasmussen (Cloquet) and Donte Larson (Greenway).

Collin Dorzinski (New Prague) played the first half between the pipes for Kelly Green and stopped 13 of 14 shots. Camden Kriebich (Virginia) played the second half and stopped 14 of 20 shots he faced.

At the other end, Lukas Hanson (Duluth East) made nine saves on 10 shots, before yielding to Nathaniel Johnson (Rogers) in the second half. Johnson made 10 saves on 11 shots.


Nick Strom’s goal with four seconds left capped off a string of four straight as Royal Blue (Sections 2/6 Seniors) battled back from a three-goal deficit to defeat Gold 4-3 Friday evening at Doug Wood Arena in South St. Paul.

The Gold team (Sections 7/8 Seniors) came out swinging and held a 3-0 lead at the half. Willy Stauber (Duluth Marshall) got things started with a goal 8:55 into play, with assists going to George Grannis (Duluth Marshall) and Nicholas Portz (St. Cloud). Aaron Myers (Thief River Falls) added another goal a short time later with assists to Jack Stetz (Moorhead) and Garrett Sandberg (St. Michael-Albertville).

Gold added a third goal with 1:32 left in the half when Nathan Adrian (Roseau) added another as the squad looked to be rolling. 

Then Royal Blue went to work, getting one back late in the first half when Andrew Hicks (Minnetonka) fired home a shot from the top of the right circle to get something going.

A second goal came less than three minutes into the second half when Jeron Hirschfield (St. Cloud) connected, and Royal pulled even with 9:32 remaining when Matt Koethe (Minnetonka) notched the equalizer, assisted by Jack Suchy (Orono) and Willy Basil (St. Louis Park).
In the closing seconds, Strom buried a shot on a last push as Blue pocketed an improbable victory.

In goal for Blue, Sawyer Anderson (Wayzata) made 13 saves on 16 shots in the first half, while Jackson Hjelle (Delano) worked the second half, stopping all 14 shots he faced.

At the other end, Gabe Holum (Grand Rapids) stopped all seven shots in the first half. Matt Fitzgerald (Bemidji) played the second half, where he stopped seven of 11 shots.

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