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Minnesota Duluth commit scores in OT as top-seed Minnetonka narrowly escapes Hill-Murray

Unseeded Hill-Murray gives Minnetonka a run for their money, but the Skippers come out on top with just 39 seconds remaining in overtime.

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Minnetonka forward Hagen Burrows (19) celebrates his goal with teammates Minnetonka forward Gavin Garry (15) and Minnetonka defender Liam Hupka (17) against Hill-Murray in the first period Thursday, March 9, 2023, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

ST. PAUL — Unseeded Hill-Murray almost toppled No. 1 Minnetonka, but the Skippers found a way to come out on top with just 39 seconds left in a 4-3 overtime victory Class AA quarterfinal on Thursday, March 9 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Minnesota Duluth commit John Stout scored on a shot from far out that beat netminder Jack Erickson and advanced his team to the semifinal round.

"The puck kind of just got ringed to me and I was just kind of thinking to throw it to the net, there's lots of traffic, so I got lucky and the goalie probably didn't see it," said Stout on his game-winning goal.

"Honestly, I kind of closed my eyes after I shot that," he joked.

The Skippers have been the No. 1 team in the state in Class AA for most of the 2022-23 season.

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Players from Hill-Murray and Minnetonka watch for the puck to settle back down in front of the Hill-Murray goal in the first period Thursday, March 9, 2023, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

"We know we've had that target on our back all year and it just made it even more meaningful," said Minnetonka head coach Sean Goldsworthy. "We haven't been there [the state tournament] since 2018, so growing up we saw that team win it and we said that we want that."


Minnetonka opened the scoring early in the first period as a heavy shot bounced off the end boards and onto junior Hagen Burrows stick. He then proceeded to bury the puck into the back of the net. Just a couple of minutes later, Hill-Murray sophomore Landon Cottingham sped into the Skippers zone and shot through both of the players in front of him to score from long range.

In the second period, Minnetonka senior Max Krebsbach scored to give the Skippers a lead as he tapped in a rebound from teammate Jack Sand. But just 30 seconds later, Hill-Murray tied things up once again. Junior Jude Bonin scored from right in front of the crease off a pass from Caden Sampair to put the Pioneers right back into the game.

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Minnetonka forward Hagen Burrows (19) celebrates a goal against Hill-Murray in the first period Thursday, March 9, 2023, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

Hill-Murray took their first lead of the quarterfinal midway through the final frame as Cottingham netted his second of the game. The sophomore scored from the hash marks off another great pass from Sampair.

With just a minute left in regulation, Minnetonka tied things up on an extra attacker goal as Burrows netted his second of the game. The junior found the puck in the slot and slid it five-hole past Hill-Murray's Jack Erickson.

In the final second of overtime junior defender John Stout found the back of the net to propel the Skippers to the semifinal round.

Minnetonka will play the winner of Andover vs. Lakeville South on Friday at 8 p.m. at the Xcel Energy Center.

"They have short memories in a good way, they also have short memories in a bad way, so that's a good thing," said Goldsworthy after the game. "I think our guys kind of just keep moving on to the next game, the next period, and I think it was pretty evident tonight."

Senior goaltender Jack Erickson made 40 saves for the Pioneers in the match, while Kaizer Nelson made 12 for the Skippers.


"The 20 varsity players you saw in that rink tonight are great young men that are gonna be great adults and become really good hockey players," said Pioneers head coach Bill Lechner. "These guys have worked so hard, but you know the other teams will have their stories too."


HM: 1-1-1-0—3
MTKA: 1-1-1-1—4

First period scoring — 1. MTKA, Hagen Burrows (John Stout, Liam Hupka) 5:32; 1. HM, Landon Cottingham (unassisted) 9:24
Penalties — HM, Matthew Whisler (cross-cheching) 9:45

Second period scoring — 2. MTKA, Max Krebsbach (Jack Sand, Danny Klaers) 6:57; 2. HM, Jude Bonin (Caden Sampair, Landon Cottingham) 7:27
Penalties — HM, Whisler (tripping) 4:24; MTKA, Danny Pasqua (slashing) 9:32

Third period scoring — 3. HM, Cottingham (Sampair, Mann) 4:46; 3. MTKA, Burrows (Garry, Hupka) 15:59 (ea)
Penalties — HM, Ben Miller (hooking) 10:57

OT scoring — 4. MTKA, Stout (Ashton Schultz, Scheetz) 7:21
Penalties — None

SOG: MTKA, 17-8-14-5—44; HM, 4-4-5-2—15


Goalie Saves: MTKA, Kaizer Nelson 3-3-4-2—12; HM, Jack Erickson 16-7-13-4—40

Penalties-minutes: MTKA, 1-2; HM, 3-6
Power-play goals-opportunities: MTKA, 0-3; HM 0-1

Sydney Wolf is a reporter for The Rink Live, primarily covering youth and high school hockey. She joined the team in November of 2021 and graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in Mass Communications and a minor in Writing and Rhetoric Studies.
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