Troumbly rallies Greenway into State Title Game

by Matt Harrington

With a thrilling 3OT game yesterday, it would be hard to imagine that today's slate of games could have anything that topped that thriller. But today's Class A semifinal between Mahtomedi and Greenway was everything that hockey fans could've asked for. A thrilling rally ignited by Ben Troumbly sent the underdog Greenway Raiders to the Class A Championship with a 3-2 OT win over Mahtomedi. 

The Zephyrs and Raiders battled it out in a thrilling first period despite neither team scoring a goal. Mahtomedi nearly took the lead late in the period after a scramble in front of goaltender Logan Wright, but he stood tall to keep it out and keep the game scoreless. Shots on goal in the first were 9-8 in favor of Greenway.

With 5 minutes remaining in the second period, the Greenway Raiders were inches away from scoring the first goal. A shot squeaked past Mahtomedi goaltender Ben Dardis, but the puck sat on the goal line for several seconds before teammates arrived to help him out. 

Shortly after, Greenway phenom Donte Lawson marched his team down the ice and buried a beautiful feed from Ben Troumbly, igniting the Raider faithful and giving Greenway a much-needed 1-0 lead. 

The Zephyrs provided a massive push moments later. Colin Hagstrom crashed the Greenway net, and the puck found its way to the back of the net. The goal wouldn't count though, as the referees ruled it was goaltender interference. Both teams closed out the second period with a strong push, and the several thousand on hand at the Xcel Energy Center were ecstatic. Shots on goal through two periods were 19-17 in favor of the leading Greenway Raiders. 

Midway in the third, Nikolai Dulak evened the game for the Zephyrs. Dulak came around the net and fired a beautful shot upstairs to get the game tied. 

Mahtomedi's momentum continued just minutes later. Greenway got caught in their defensive zone, and Kory Pilarski made them pay. Pilarski took a beautiful feed from Metz in the blue paint and put it home, igniting the Zephyrs crowd. Mahtomedi had all of a sudden found themselves in front halfway through the period. 

But the Raiders wouldn't go away without a fight. After a Mahtomedi penalty with less than three minutes to play, Ben Troumbly scored the game tying goal with a bar-down slap shot over the glove of Dardis. The Zephyrs held off the momentum and were able to force an overtime period. 

37 seconds into overtime, Troumbly ended it with a victory for the Raiders. With a loose puck sitting near the crease, Troumbly put the puck home and the roof nearly blew off the Xcel Energy Center. The game-winning goal for Troumbly sends the Raiders to the Class A Championship and a date with the St. Cloud Cathedral Crusaders tomorrow at 12pm.

From a fan's perspective, this game had everything you could possibly ask for. A defensive battle to start the game, and an offensive surge to finish it. Both fanbases were absolutely electric all afternoon long. It certainly was the game of the tournament so far, and may even be considered one of the all-time great recent Class A games.

Coming up tonight: the Class AA Semifinals. Blaine will face Eden Prairie at 6pm, and Edina will face Saint Thomas Academy at 7pm.