Alexandria boys' hockey: Cardinals' season ends in Section 6A semifinals
By: Eric Morken, Alexandria Echo Press
The Alexandria boys’ hockey team got its shot at top-seeded Little Falls and played the Flyers as well as it has all season before coming up just short in a 3-2 game on Saturday.
The Cardinals and Little Falls had played twice this season with the Flyers taking both games by a combined score of 9-1. The rematch in the Section 6A semifinals would prove to be a lot closer.
The Flyers needed to hold off a late charge by the Cardinals in a 3-2 game in the third. Kevin Finley had scored his first varsity goal earlier in the period off an assist from Christian Canavati. That allowed the Cardinals to pull goaltender Ben Allen late in the game to set up a 6-on-5.
With that comes the risk of an open-net goal the other way. The Flyers had an opportunity at one that forced Alexandria to take a penalty to keep it a one-goal game. That all but ended a strong effort by the Cardinals that came up just short.
“The effort and intensity in the playoff run was fantastic,” head coach Scott Woods said. “We have to say goodbye to five seniors and thank them for their effort. Ben Allen, Jack Wensman, Tom Schmidt, Patrick Leary and Logan Hochsprung will move on. Good luck to them with future plans.”
Alexandria pushed this one to a 1-1 game at the end of the first period off Wensman’s last goal of his Cardinal career. He was set up by an assist from Finley that gave his team reason to believe heading into the second period.
Little Falls just had a little more in that second frame. The Flyers outshot Alexandria 17-11 during that stretch and got goals from Ben Newman at 8:35 and Spencer Fenske on a power play with just 13 seconds left in the period.
That ultimately proved to be the game winner. The Cardinals wrap up their season with an 11-14-1 record overall. They finished 7-7-1 in the Central Lakes Conference, good for fourth place in league play.
ALEXANDRIA 1 0 1 – 2
LITTLE FALLS 1 2 0 – 3
SHOTS – Alexandria – 6, 11, 9 – 26; Little Falls – 13, 17, 15 – 45
FIRST PERIOD – Little Falls – Fenske (Austin Bjorge), 11:24; Alexandria – Wensman (Finley), 11:51
SECOND PERIOD – Little Falls – Newman (Thomas Miller, Luke Majerle), 8:35; Little Falls – Fenske (PPG) (Matthew Stumpf, Newman), 16:47
THIRD PERIOD – Alexandria – Finley (PPG) (Canavati), 8:56
GOALTENDING – Alexandria – Allen – L, 42 saves, 45 shots; Little Falls – Michael Stumpf – W, 24 saves, 26 shots