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Blaze Fugina | Echo Press The Alexandria boys' hockey team celebrates Brady Bast's game winning goal in the section semifinals on Saturday in St. Cloud. (Blaze Fugina/Echo Press)

Alex wins thriller in semis

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After winning a double overtime thriller, the Alexandria boys’ hockey team will play St. Cloud Cathedral Thursday for the chance to play in the state tournament.

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Brady Bast scored the game-winning goal in double overtime for a 3-2 Cardinals’ win over St. Cloud Apollo in the Section 6A semifinals on Saturday.

Bast scored the game-winning goal after he crashed the St. Cloud Apollo net and cashed in on a rebound off a shot from Christian Canavati.

“It ripped off the post and went off the goalie’s back,” Bast said. “I stood there looking at the puck and it was just lying there, so I tapped it in.”

The goal was the end of a back-and-forth game that was tied 2-2 after three periods of play.

The Cardinals started the scoring off with a Matt Resch goal at 9:11 in the first period. Alexandria dominated play in the period, outshooting Apollo 13-4.

Play swung to Apollo’s favor in the second period as they scored two goals and outshot Alexandria 15-10. Tanner Breidenbach and Skyler Rieland both scored in the period for the Eagles.

But Alec Wosepka tied the game with a goal at 9:37 of the third period, and from there the game remained scoreless through the third period and the first overtime.

Head coach Ian Resch said he was happy with the Cardinals’ focus as they continued to fight while being down a goal late in the game.

“In the third period the guys, as they have done all year, they never lose their composure,” Ian Resch said. “They keep finding ways to keep battling.”

Despite having a few nerves, the Cardinal players were focused on continuing their momentum in overtime. St. Cloud Apollo outshot the Cardinals in both overtime periods for a total of 14-11, but they had plenty of scoring chances before netting the game winner.

“It gets a little nerve-racking sometimes when you’ve got to stay focused and calm, and block everything else out like the student sections and the fans,” Matt Resch said. “Just keep playing your game.”

Alexandria goaltender Sam Goetsch made plenty of key saves in overtime to keep the game tied. He finished with 46 saves on 48 shots from Apollo.

“He’s been good all year, but especially the last few games,” Ian Resch said. “He’s so focused right now, and I can’t remember the last time he gave up more than two goals.”

They will face top-seeded St. Cloud Cathedral Thursday at the Municipal Athletic Complex in St. Cloud after they won a 3-1 game against Sartell-St. Stephen.

Ian Resch said Cathedral is a talented team that is led by Will Hammer, who scored 22 regular season goals. Their goaltending is solid and the Crusaders’ defense keeps opponents out of their zone.

“There’s so much parity in this section that anybody can win on any given night,” Ian Resch said. “We’re just happy to be in the finals.”

GAME RESULTS

ST CLOUD APOLLO 0 2 0 0 0 – 2

ALEXANDRIA 1 0 1 0 1 – 3

SHOTS – ALEXANDRIA (13, 10, 10, 5, 6) – 44; APOLLO (4, 15, 15, 7, 7) – 48

SCORING – FIRST PERIOD – Matt Resch (Alec Wosepka), 9:11

SECOND PERIOD – Apollo – Tanner Breidenbach (PP) (Gino Lucia, Paul Kenney), 9:24; Apollo – Skyler Rieland (Dallas Haugen), 9:36

THIRD PERIOD – Wosepka (Christian Canavati), 9:34

OVERTIME 1 – NO SCORING

OVERTIME 2 – Brady Bast (Canavati), 9:37

GOALTENDING - Alexandria - Sam Goetsch, 46 saves on 48 shots; St. Cloud Apollo - Nick Althaus, 41 saves on 44 shots

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Blaze Fugina
Blaze Fugina is a sports reporter at the Echo Press. Before working in Alexandria, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. He previously worked as the community editor of the Mound Laker for more than a year. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.
(320) 763-1230
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