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The first night of hockey section finals was freaking insane

Your jaw will drop when you see what happened.
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Wednesday night was the first of three days of section finals in Minnesota's boys' high school hockey playoffs, and it was another reminder of why section finals is usually the most exciting week of hockey anywhere on the planet. 

Fans were treated to not one, but two last-second goals and TWO double-overtime games. 

The buzzer beater ... and the heartbreak

Trailing 4-3 to the team that's gone to eight straight Class 1A state championship games and won the last two, Greenway scored with 0.1 seconds left in the game to force overtime against state power Hermantown in Section 7A. 

After a scoreless first overtime, Hermantown's Tyler Watkins won it with a deflection in front of the net with just 14 seconds left in the second overtime.


Previews for all 16 section finals

Minnetonka's near buzzer beater

You can't make this stuff up. About 10 minutes after Hermantown defeated Greenway, Minnetonka's Teddy Lagerback scored with 3.2 seconds left in regulation to force overtime against Holy Family. 

Naturally, one overtime wasn't enough, and in the second overtime, Josh Luedtke drove down the slot and ripped a wrister into the upper-left corner for the winning goal, sending Minnetonka to State for the first time since 2010. 

Holy Family's goalie, Conan Hayton (of course he has a bad ass name) deserves a ton of credit for making 53 saves on a night when Minnetonka was applying constant pressure. 

The upset nobody saw coming

St. Michael-Albertville's stunning 6-5 win over top seed Moorhead in Section 8AA. 

STMA took a 5-3 lead with 5:42 left in the game, and boosted it to 6-3 with 3:02 to play. That's when Moorhead went bonkers with two goals in the next 92 seconds to make it a one-goal game with 1:27 to play. 

The Knights held on when Mr. Hockey finalist Carter Randkelev's shot at the buzzer went over the net. It's easily one of the biggest upsets of the season. It was even more stunning considering Moorhead stomped STMA 5-1 during the regular season. 

Litchfield does it again

Just like they did in 2016, the Litchfield-Dassel/Cokato Dragons pulled a hefty upset over Luverne to win Section 3A by a score of 4-1. 

The 2016 upset was bigger, a 7-6 win in a crazy overtime game, but the Dragons are definitely proving to be Luverne's kryptonite in the playoffs.

Other scores

  • Edina 8, Wayzata 1
  • Mankato East 6, Rochester Lourdes 1
  • Hill-Murray 3, Stillwater 1 (semifinal)

Hill-Murray's win puts them in Friday night's section title game against White Bear Lake at Aldrich Arena. 

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