Friday's prep boys hockey playoff game: Greenway vs. Mahtomedi
GREENWAY (16-13) VS. MAHTOMEDI (22-6-1) What: Class A state tournament semifinal When: About 1:30 p.m. Where: Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul Outlook: Greenway already has avenged one regular-season setback in St. Paul and will get a chance to do it...
GREENWAY (16-13) VS. MAHTOMEDI (22-6-1)
What: Class A state tournament semifinal
When: About 1:30 p.m.
Where: Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul
Outlook: Greenway already has avenged one regular-season setback in St. Paul and will get a chance to do it again this afternoon. The fourth-seeded Raiders fell to Delano and Mahtomedi on successive days in December, though they didn't have junior standouts Ben Troumbly or Christian Miller for either contest. Greenway has won 10 in a row following a 6-13 start. Coach Grant Clafton has said his club needs to play "heavy" and be OK with the occasional blue-collar goal. The Raiders did exactly that in Wednesday's quarterfinal win over Delano, simplifying things on offense and getting pucks to the front of the net. They survived a dangerous start, falling behind 3-1, something that likely won't fly today. "Our first period has to start being better, has to be heavier, has to be a little bit more detail-oriented, or we're going to be in trouble. The deeper that you go into this, you can't get away with those types of things," Clafton said. Senior Donte Lawson leads Greenway with 35 goals and 31 assists. Troumbly (22-19-41) is next, followed by senior Nikolai Rajala (12-23-35), who had two crucial assists Wednesday. ... No. 1-seeded Mahtomedi has won six straight, including an uneventful 6-0 blanking of New Ulm in the quarters. This is the 11th tournament appearance for the Zephyrs, who lost to Hermantown in the 2018 third-place game. They spread out their scoring, with six players having double-digit goal totals, led by Tom Paradise's 19. Paradise and his senior twin, Joe (14-24-38), are grandsons of the late Herb Brooks, according to the Minnesota State High School League's John Millea. Mahtomedi has allowed two or fewer goals in 24 of its games. Freshman goalie Ben Dardis (1.49 goals-against average, .931 save percentage), who stands just 5-foot-6, owns five shutouts. His counterpart, senior John Poirer (2.00, .900), has added two shutouts. At 1,136 students in grades 9-12, Mahtomedi is the largest school in the Class A bracket. Greenway, at 269, is the smallest.
Quotable: "These kids always hated losing. They always found a way to win. They're a special group." - Jim "Bird" Lawson, Donte's father and Greenway's coach from 2009-15
TV: WDIO Ch. 10
Internet: Prep45.com (free)