Trojan skaters face tough competition at Class A State

By: 
Jay Schneider, lrlife@frontiernet.net

The New Prague boys hockey team knew they would have to face some of the top teams in the state in their Class A State Tournament appearance last week.

Even knowing the strength of their competition, the Trojans battled and represented New Prague with the utmost integrity.

The Trojans were unseeded and faced No. 1 ranked Hermantown in their State Quarterfinals Wednesday, March 9. Hermantown defeated New Prague, 5-1, and went on to claim the 2022 Class A State Championship with a 3-2 win over No. 2 seeded Warroad.

In the consolation semifinals Thursday, March 10, the Trojans faced No. 4 seeded Minneapolis, a team which hadn’t been to State in three decades. Minneapolis scored three third period goals to pull out a 5-2 win. They went on to defeat Monticello, 4-1, in the Consolation Championship.

“The State Tournament was an excellent experience for our players, managers, and coaches. Playing at the Xcel Energy Center was a dream come true for many of our players,” Trojan head coach Brad Drazan said. “The Minnesota State High School League and New Prague High School do an excellent job creating lifelong memories at the state tournament.”

Hermantown started the game by scoring three goals in a matter of 95 seconds to take an early 3-0 first period lead. Two of those goals were scored after New Prague turnovers.

Wyatt Carlson scored a power play goal 1:36 into the first period on an assist from Dominic Thomas. Fifty-two seconds later Zam Plante scored on an assist from Kade Kohanski. Thirty-three seconds later Thomas scored on an assist from Matt Kauppinen.

After this scoring barrage, the Trojans settled down and did a good job defensively, allowing only two goals in more than 2 3/4 periods of play.

Goalie Carter Puente stopped 16 first period shots, and 13 in each of the second and third periods. Owen Wilkins blocked six shots and Payton Becker blocked five shots.

The Hawks scored their...

To see more on this story pick up the March 17, 2022 print edition of The New Prague Times.

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