Cretin-Derham Hall came into tonight's Section 6AA championship game as the state's Cinderella story after shocking previously unbeaten Benilde-St. Margaret's in the section semifinal. But after fighting valiantly for two periods, the clock finally struck midnight as Wayzata pulled away for a 4-1 victory to earn a berth in next week's State High School Tournament.
The Raiders of Cretin struck first with a power play goal by Ryan Smith to take an early lead. But the Trojans had an answer later in the period when Andrew Urban scored his first career goal to knot the game.
The two teams remained tied heading into the third period thanks to a sensational effort from Cretin-Derham Hall goalie Mike Magnuson, who stopped 27 shots in the first two periods alone.
But Wayzata's consistent pressure in the CDH zone eventually proved to be too much. Back-to-back goals from Mark Senden and Billy Duma gave the Trojans a 3-1 lead and Cretin-Derham Hall was unable to mount a comeback. Dillon Riley capped off the victory with an empty-net goal to place Wayzata in St. Paul next week.
Magnuson finished the game stopped 41 of 44 shots, while his counterpart, Wayzata's Alex Schilling stopped 19 of 20 in the victory.
Notes and Thoughts:
-Big ice. Looks huge. Wayzata plays on Olympic Ice
-Cretin-Derham Hall knew they were going to have to play a certain way to have a chance against a much more talented Wayzata team. They played that style near-perfectly and gave themselves a chance to pull off a second straight shocker.
The Raiders did an exceptional job of keeping the game simple, getting pucks deep whenever they had the chance, and staying disciplined defensively. The defensive discipline is especially key on the big ice of Mariucci, and the Raiders did an excellent job of staying inside the dots and protecting the front of their net.
And I can't say enough about how well junior goal Mike Magnuson played. He was great all night, and was really the only reason this game was close late.
-Of course, the other half of the recipe for a big upset is that you need a little help from the favored team, and Wayzata wasn't going to give that. The Trojans have the reputation of a disciplined, defensive-minded team and they did an outstanding job of minimizing the big mistakes. The few times Cretin was able to get pressure in the Wayzata zone, the Trojans came up with a few big shot blocks. Wayzata goalie Alex Schilling was very good when he needed to be as well. CDH needed a free goal or two tonight and Schilling didn't make any mistakes.
You can say this game was so lop-sided in possession that it was only a matter of time before Wayzata pulled ahead, but getting that go-ahead is easier said than done, and Wayzata did what they had to do to extend the game long enough to get it.
-Wayzata is going to be a very dangerous team to play against at the state tournament. I think they're talented enough to beat anyone.
Shots on goal: WAY: 15-13-17-45 CDH: 8-6-6-20
Even strength shot attempts: WAY: 16-21-22-59-69.4% CDH: 7-8-11-26-30.6%
Prime scoring area attempts: WAY: 11-8-12-31 CDH: 7-4-4-15
What do the numbers tell us?
That Wayzata dominated possession in this game. They controlled the puck about 70% of the time at even strength and were taking a lot of shots, and a lot of good shots at Cretin. A power play goal and some great goaltending kept it close for a while, but this one was all Wayzata.
2:23 Ryan Smith from Charlie Haugen and Hugo Hartnell (power play) 1-0 Cretin-Derham Hall
Haugen's low wrist shot from the right point was tipped by Smith in front of the net through the legs of Wayzata's Schilling for the goal.
7:09 Andrew Urban from Dillon Riley and Amar Batra 1-1 tie
Riley made a pass from behind the goal line in the left corner to Urban who was skating hard to the front of the net. Urban fought through traffic and was able to deflect the pass into the net.
6:22 Mark Senden from Colin Schmidt and Jeff Greeninger 2-1 Wayzata
Schmidt made a nice feed from the left corner to Senden in the slot. His one-timer beat Magnuson five hole.
7:24 Billy Duma from Mark Senden and Hank Sorenson 3-1 Wayzata
A Cretin defender tripped, allowing Senden and Duma to break in on a 2-on-0. Senden slipped a pass over to Duma, whose one-timer beat Magnuson over the right shoulder.
15:13 Dillon Riley unassisted (empty net) 4-1 Wayzata
Riley's empty-netter from the top of the circles iced the game.