(Saint Cloud, MN) -- Jack Westlund's power-play goal in the game's 61st minute proved decisive in Alexandria's 3-2 victory over Saint Cloud Cathedral in the Section 6A Championship Game at the Municipal Athletic Complex Thursday night.
The Cardinals never trailed against the Crusaders, who were stopped in a bid for a third consecutive Section 6A title. Sophomore Caleb Strong slammed a one-timer past Cathedral goalie Noah Amundson just 58 seconds into the second period to break a scoreless tie. Freshman Jakob Stender then scored at the 12:14 mark to expand the Cardinals' advantage. Single goals by the Crusaders' Jack Smith and James Anderson leveled the score with just over nine minutes in regulation play.
After an eight minute scoreless first overtime and an intermission to resurface the ice, the Cardinals struck quickly in the second extra session. A minor penalty assessed to CJ Zins put Alexandria on the power play for the second time in the game. Jack Westlund scored the game-winner just 18 seconds into the power play, at 1:55 of the second overtime. Strong and fellow line mate Ben Doherty assisted on the game-winning score.
The Cardinals played a clean hockey game, staying out of the penalty box the entire night. Though Alexandria was out-shot by Cathedral by six, senior Jackson Boline continued his solid play in the nets, recording 33 saves. Boline now has a save percentage of .945 during this post-season, stopping 69 of the 73 shots during a trio of wins in Section 6A.
Alexandria's first game in the 2018 Class A Boys' Hockey State Tournament will take place Wednesday, March 7th at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul. Further information on the Cardinals' opponent and Wednesday's game time will be detailed on VoiceOfAlexandria.com once it becomes available Saturday afternoon.
(Hear Dave McClurg's Cardinal Sports Report in the audio clip below)