Greenway Rallies Past Delano

by Pete Waggoner

St. Paul, MN - With the first three games of the 2019 Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament resulting in a combined score of 18-2 and producing  two running time games, the nightcap between the No. 4 seed Greenway Raiders and the #5 seed Delano Tigers made up for those blowouts and brought all the intensity, drama, and intrigue one person could handle in a day..  Donte Lawson had 2 goals and 2 assists to propel the Raiders to a 6-4 win over the Delano Tigers in Class A Quarterfinal round action. 

The Tigers broke through with two goals in :20 to take a 2-0 lead midway through the first period.  The first came at 7:11 when Kory Dunnigan scored off a face off win by Joseph Blanchard.  Michael Weber guided the puck back about 6 feet to the waiting Dunnigan who deposited the puck past Raider goalie Logan Wright.  Off the ensuing face off, the Tigers struck again, this time it was Jack Keranen.  The Tigers came with speed up the right wing wall with Tommy Peterson who fed Adam Brown who in turn found a streaking Keranen with the tap in off the left side of the net for the 2-0 lead.  It was tic-tac-toe at it's finest. 

It would be easy for the Raiders to feel sorry for themselves with the turn of events. and chose not to and went to work.  From that point on the Raiders began the slow and methodical effort of wrestling the game away from Delano.  The Raiders  pulled within one for the third time of the game at 14:07 of the first period when Micah Gernander scored from Donte Lawson.  It was a terrific feed by Lawson from the corner that found Gernander at the top of the right circle who beat Delano goalie Aaron Kruse to the high right corner. The Tigers answered 2:01 later on a goal by Tommy Peterson who opened the 3-1 Delano lead after one period. 

With life in their legs, the Raiders took over to start the second period and  with energy,  responded to the two-goal  deficit on a goal by Donte Lawson at 1:26.  Ben Troumbly leveled the game at 3 on a goal at 8:05 of the second period.  The two teams fed off the tempo of the game with a terrific ebb and flow.  The skill of the Raiders was on display and their confidence grew as the game continued.  

The Tigers took a funny bounce off the end boards at 7:33 of the third period to give Delano the lead again at 4-3.  The lead lasted just 1:14 as Micheal Veckich redirected a Cameron Lantz shot to tie the game.  Just :53 later it was Christian Miller who went bar down for the Raiders first lead of the game at 5-4. Miller had 2 goals and an assist. 

With Delano's Kruse pulled and the pressure mounting on Raider goalie  Logan Wright, the Tigers almost tied the game.  Wright blew from the middle of the net to the left post to close the door with his left pad on a puck that was labeled for overtime.  Instead, it stayed out of the net and the Raiders would block some wild point blank shots while clearing the puck to center and winning some key battles in the neutral zone to close the door on an empty net tally by Lawson. 

Delano will play at noon on Thursday at 3M Arena at Mariucci with a start time at noon in the consolation semi-finals.  The Raiders have a date with the No. 1 seeded Mahtomedi Zephyrs at 1pm on Friday in the semi-finals from the Xcel Energy Center.