State boys hockey: Slowed early by Cathedral St. Cloud, Warroad breaks out in the third period

If the top-ranked Warroad Warriors were looking for a routine start to the 2023 Class A boys hockey tournament on Wednesday, they didn’t get it.

At least for the first 34 minutes.

Cathedral of St. Unseeded Cloud collapsed defensively to slow the potent Warroad offense for two periods and took chances offensively before the Warriors rallied in the third for a 5-1 win in the third Class A quarterfinal of the day .

Junior goalie Nick Hansen made 38 saves in the Cathedral net, but two power-play goals from Carson Pilgrim and third-period insurance tallies from Jayson Shaugabay and Murray Marvin-Cordes were enough for a Warriors victory.

Since the start of the two-class era in 1992, Warroad is 14-1 in the quarters. The only loss was a 2-1 overtime loss to Orono in 2004.

That loss — and a 4-3 win over Hermantown in 1994 — is one of two 1992 Warroad quarterfinals decided by a single goal. The Warriors are 7-0 in the quarters since winning their last state title in 2005, outscoring opponents 44-7 in the process.

Warroad forward Carson Pilgrim (18) scores for an open goal and hat trick with one second on the clock against St. Cloud in the third period on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.Jason Wachter / The Ice Rink Live

Pilgrim’s second of the night, a perfect pass play from Erick Comstock to Shaugabay to Pilgrim with 13.8 seconds left in the second period, was the game-winner. He completed his hat trick with an empty netter in the final seconds.

After a fairly even start to the game, Warroad’s power play broke free late in the first period to beat Hansen.

After the Crusaders goalie stopped a Comstock point shot and reached back to paddle a Ryan Lund rebound attempt, Pilgrim snuck from his spot at the left point to fire a loose puck into the open net at 13:07. the first period.

With Warroad goalie Hampton Slukynsky looking unflappable in net, it took an unorthodox goal for Cathedral to respond.

Joey Gillespie shot from behind the goal line off the back of Slukynsky and into the Warroad net to tie the game midway through the second period after the Frank Brimsek Award finalist stopped the initial redirection.

Slukynsky, a Northern Michigan commit, stopped the other 22 batters he faced – the most in his career.

Shaugabay, a Mr. Hockey semifinalist and Minnesota Duluth commit, cleaned up a rebound in front, and Marvin-Cordes connected a deep handoff to give Warroad the third-period insurance it needed in the final 17 minutes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *