Duluth East Runs Past Cloquet Esko Carlton in 3-0 Section 7AA Semifinals Victory [PHOTOS]
Rivals Duluth East Greyhounds and Cloquet-Esko-Carlton Lumberjacks hit the ice for a noon showdown at Amsoil Arena in Duluth for the Section 7AA semifinals on Saturday.
Entering the game, both teams had made offensive statements in their previous section playoff games. The Lumberjacks skated past Forest Lake in a 6-2 victory on February 19, while the Greyhounds had a 15-0 lights-out shutout over St. Michael-Albertville on the same night.
After a scoreless first period, Ryan Lundgren netted a power play goal for the Greyhounds early in the second. From there, there was no looking back for the Greyhounds, as they continued to pressure the offensive zone and outshoot CEC.
Lundgren struck again shortly after opening the third period of play, assisted by Meirs Moore and Alex Toscano. With a 2-0 lead and the clock running into the final minutes of regulation, Ryan Lundgren hit the net for the third time for the Greyhounds with help from Moore and Toscano again.
CEC closed the game being outshot 30-15 by East. Penalties proved to be the biggest problem for the Lumberjacks through the course of the game. The Jacks served two more penalty minutes than East (10 minutes to 8 minutes) and the Greyhounds power play unit took advantage, scoring all three of their goals on the advantage.
Ryan Lundgren's hat trick adds to his four-goal night against St. Michael-Albertville for a total of 7 goals so far in the section playoffs. Through the course of the regular season, Lundgren netted a total of 17 goals (tied for 3rd on for the Greyhounds).
The Greyhounds go on to face Grand Rapids, who beat Elk River 2-1 after 2 overtime periods of play in the other Section 7AA semifinal game. The Section Championship between Duluth East and Grand Rapids will be at Amsoil Arena in Duluth Thursday, February 28 at 7:30 pm.