Crusaders blow past Cougars

by Pete Waggoner

St. Paul, MN - The 2020 Minnesota State High School Boys’ Hockey Tournament opened with the #2 seed St. Cloud Cathedral Crusaders hammering unseeded Mankato East/Loyola Cougars by a score of 11-2 in Class A quarterfinal round action. 

The Crusaders (24-3-1) were a step ahead of the Cougars (14-14-1) and took a 4-1 lead into the first period intermission.  The Crusaders were led by seven players that had multiple point games. Jack Smith (2g-2a-4pts) and Jack Perbix (1g-3a-4pts) led the way with monster days while defenseman Reid Bogenholm (1g-2a-3pts) and Nate Warner (1g-2a-3pts) also factored into the final outcome.  Defenseman Jon Bell also had two goals for the Crusaders who outshot the Cougars 48-13 for the game. 

Parker Anthony and Jake Schreiber each dented the twin for the Cougars.  Schreiber’s goal tied the game at 2:44 of the first period and it began to feel as though a track meet was about to break out.  It didn’t go there and the Crusaders took control of the game.

“This group has been through so much this season,” Crusader heach coach Derick Brown said.  “Every time something comes up, they always respond. Our last 5 minutes of the first period were really good. “

“That’s a really good hockey team,” Cougars head coach Adam Fries said.  “They come at you hard, they come at you fast, and it’s a rarity that they give the puck up.”

Only superlatives can be used when addressing St. Cloud Cathedral who has been on the short list of title contenders.  They own a 5-2-1 record against the tournament field including their memorable come-from-behind 5-5 tie at Hermantown on January 3rd. 

Up next for the Crusaders is a semi-final round game against the winner of  Monticello and Hermantown Friday morning at 11am.  The Cougars head to 3M Arena at Mariucci on Thursday to face the loser of the Monticello and Hermantown game.