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'All of the sudden, we’re celebrating': Gravink's goal gives Andover Class AA crown in 2OT thriller

Andover wins first boys hockey title with 6-5 win over Maple Grove

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Andover forward Logan Gravink (22) (upper right) puts the winning goal in during double overtime to beat against Maple Grove Saturday, March 12, 2022, in the State Boys Hockey Tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

ST. PAUL — In terms of the numbers, Logan Gravink had a quiet state tournament, but when hockey fans from Andover look back on this weekend, they’ll remember his name along with guys like Gavyn Thoreson and Cayden Casey.

Gravink will stick out because the one goal he scored in the tourney was the one that gave the Andover boys hockey program its first state championship.

Gravink’s goal 8:59 into double overtime clinched the 6-5 victory over Maple Grove in the Class AA State Boys Hockey Tournament championship Saturday night, March 12 at the Xcel Energy Center.

“[Andover’s] Hudson [Zinda] got the puck and then everything went black,” Gravink said. “All of the sudden, we’re celebrating. Hudson took it to the net, lucky bounce, it ends up on my tape and it ended up in the back of the net.”

Saturday was the third time in four years that the Class AA championship was decided by sudden death and the second title game in a row that went to double overtime.

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Thoreson had a goal and two assists and Casey scored twice with an assist to bring their tournament point totals to eight and six, respectively. Meanwhile, Gravink had not recorded a goal or assist all weekend in wins over Moorhead and Hill-Murray.

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Maple Grove forward Finn Brink (27) celebrates his goal against Andover with the bench during the first period Saturday, March 12, 2022, in the State Boys Hockey Tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

“It’s funny how often in overtime, it’s somebody [you don’t expect to score],” said Andover coach Mark Manney. “Heroes are made in those moments.”

Maple Grove (23-7-1), led by Josh Giuliani’s second hat trick of the tournament, won the race to get on the board first and it happened 12 seconds into the game.

Landon Gunderson won the offensive-zone faceoff for Maple Grove back to Danny Nelson, whose shot from the point generated a fat rebound for Finn Brink. Nelson and Gunderson had three and four assists, respectively.

“From the beginning of the game, I thought we had an advantage,” said Maple Grove coach Todd Bergland. “We hit them pretty hard early, so we had them back on their heels, but it turned out it was going to be a dogfight.”

Giuliani made it 2-0 a few minutes later, but Andover responded on a Casey goal and that’s when the game took on the resemblance of a see-saw battle.

The teams exchanged goals – Giuliani for Maple Grove and Jacob Pierson for Andover – 14 seconds apart in the final minute of the first period.

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Andover players gather at the student section after the winning goal in double overtime to beat Maple Grove Saturday, March 12, 2022, in the State Boys Hockey Tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

Pierson’s goal was the first of three straight for the Huskies.

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“After that, it made everyone relax a little bit knowing we’re only one behind going into the next period. It gave us a huge boost,” said senior captain Weston Knox, who scored the only goal of the second period which tied the game at three.

Knox, the Class AA Herb Brooks Award winner, had not recorded a point since Feb. 12 when the Huskies lost to Maple Grove.

Early in the third, there was the sequence in which Casey made Giuliani look foolish and Giuliani quickly forced the crowd to forget about it.

Casey scored at the 5:24 mark unassisted when he carried the puck out of his zone and over the Maple Grove blue line, where he toe-dragged the puck away from Giuliani and beat Crimson goalie Toby Hopp with a wrist shot.

But the game was tied again 43 seconds later when Giuliani found a soft spot in the Andover defense and clapped in a one-timer on a pass from Gunderson. That goal put him in the lead for most goals scored in the tournament with eight, passing Prior Lake’s Alex Bump.

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The Hawks allowed an early goal, but locked down defensively and allowed just six shots the rest of the game.

But Giuliani can dish it too. He had three assists in the quarterfinals and semis and he tacked on another at a critical moment Saturday.

The Crimson’s senior captain skated the puck from high in the zone to below the goal line and sent a pass out front to Chayton Fischer for a successful one-timer that put Maple Grove up 5-4 with 6:06 left.

While Maple Grove’s star of the tournament had lit it up all game, Andover’s star was about to save the night.

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Thoreson, who finished the tournament with four goals and four assists, redirected a pass from near the right faceoff dot and the puck made it through traffic and trickled through Hopp’s gear with 1:50 left in regulation.

The desperation to keep the puck out of the net showed on both ends of the rink during the first overtime. Hopp robbed Hudson Zinda by stretching his right pad out across the crease to make a save that got the crowd into a frenzy.

Hopp stopped 39 shots in the loss.

Moments later, Andover goalie Austin Brauns dove to cover up a loose puck in the slot and Ben Doll dove on the goal line to prevent the Crimson from pushing the puck across. Brauns finished with 46 saves in the win.

In February, Andover won the Class AA girls title.

PHOTO GALLERY (click/swipe to view)

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