Last Saturday was crazy as six top-ranked teams across the state were knocked out in the semifinal round of their section tournaments. We saw four of the top five teams in Class 2A – Benilde-St. Margaret's, Holy Family Catholic, Minnetonka and Blaine – lose, along with a really good Centennial team and the third-ranked team in Class 1A, St. Cloud Apollo.
But that wasn't enough for the hockey gods. On Wednesday night, two more of the state's top teams were bounced.
Litchfield stuns Luverne
Luverne, led by future Gopher recruit Jaxon Nelson, couldn't hold on to a late lead in a 7-6 overtime loss to the Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato Dragons.
According to KDLT, Nelson had a hat trick and Luverne had a 6-5 lead late in the third period, but LDC pulled its goalie and scored the tying goal with 35 seconds left in regulation – and they scored on a power play to win it in overtime and advance to the state tournament.
Just two weeks ago the Star Tribune profiled Luverne's hockey team as a squad that seemed destined for the state tournament, so the loss to LDC is a massive upset.
Totino-Grace's emotional upset win
Meanwhile, Totino-Grace is the four-seed in Section 4 (Class 1A) and it rallied from a three-goal deficit to stun top-seeded Mahtomedi, 6-5.
Mahtomedi head coach Jeff Poeschl told MNHockeyHub that Totino-Grace was playing "inspired hockey." On Sunday, Totino-Grace alum Matt Olson, just 20 years old, was paralyzed after crashing head first into the boards during a game with the Chicago Cougars of the USPHL.
Totino, which went winless in its last nine regular season games, moves on to play in the section final against St. Paul Academy.