Boys hockey: Alexandria still the class of Section 6A, beats WDC in section semifinals
Early goals helped Alexandria, the defending Section 6A champions, down Wadena-Deer Creek in the section semifinals.
ST. CLOUD - The Alexandria boys hockey team had a week between its opening-round playoff game on Feb. 21 against the No. 8 seed Breckenridge-Wahpeton and its Section 6A semifinal game against the No. 4 seed Wadena-Deer Creek on Tuesday, but picked up right where it left off.
Alexandria (13-12-1), the No. 1 seed in the section, followed up its 14-goal burst in the quarterfinal round with a 7-2 win over the Wolverines on Tuesday at The MAC in St. Cloud.
"We were just moving the puck well, getting the puck forward to net and scoring," Senior forward Joe Lamski said.
On Tuesday, Alexandria's offense was consistent throughout, as it scored at least two goals in each period. It took the Cardinals just two and a half minutes to score as Lamski buried the first of his two goals on the night.
"He got two breakaways and scored on both of them," Alexandria head coach Josh Meyers said. "He did a lot of other things really well too. He read those situations really well and got really good looks on those breakaways. He made them pay, and that's awesome to see a senior do."
With a first period goal by junior Evan Lunde, W-DC (15-10-2) knotted up the game at one and had some momentum with 8:42 left in the first period.
But starting with a goal by senior Tyler Kludt 72 seconds later, Alexandria created the momentum and rhythm needed to earn a 7-2 win.
Shortly after Kludt's go-ahead goal, junior forward Evan Anderson scored to put Alexandria up 3-1 at the end of the first period, and a pair of Nick Peterson goals put Alexandria up 5-1 heading to the final period.
"It was huge to get that 3-1 lead," Meyers said. "We started a little sloppy. You could tell that we were off for a week, which is to be expected, and I don't anticipate seeing that same sloppiness on Thursday now that we got a game under our belt. But regardless, we got the after the first period, which was goal number one, and it was a job well done."
The Wolverines cut into the Cardinals' lead with a goal by senior defenseman Dalton Moyer early in the third.
But Alexandria goals by Lamski and junior forward Leo Kompelien iced the game.
"Our season was a lot of fun," Wadena-Deer Creek head coach Scott Woods said. "This group worked hard. We've kept them together since the time they were very little. We have 10 seniors, so it's something we've waited for and tried to build on. We've been in games like this where we give up more than we want to, but that's part of the game. That comes from the team, and unfortunately, we gave up too many goals."
Alexandria held WDC's potent top line scoreless all night. Cole Woods, Aron Sutherland and Connor Davis combined for 178 points in 27 games, yet were snubbed against 6A's top seed.
“They were huge,” Woods said of the seniors. “I feel for them because they put up points against every team all year, and they just struggled to find the net tonight. We knew Alex would be fast, which is no surprise. All in all, the seniors have been fantastic.”
The Wolverines graduate 10 players from their 2022-23 roster, leaving big shoes to fill from an impressive 15-win campaign.
“The younger guys will learn from the dedication those older guys have,” Woods said. “Those guys hardly missed a practice. They weren’t sick. They don’t miss school. They came to summer offseason stuff. Their dedication is what will help the underclassmen.”