St. Thomas Academy Upsets #1 Andover

by Pete Waggoner

St. Paul, MN-- Seeded #5 in Section 3AA, the Saint Thomas Academy Cadets have been underdogs since the section playoffs. The Cadets embraced their underdog role tonight and battled back to topple top-seeded Andover 3-2 in the quarterfinal round. 

After a scoreless first 10 minutes or so, the Huskies struck first on a Gunnar Thorsen goal-- the first ever for Andover at the State Tournament. 

37 seconds later, the Cadets answered to even the game. Noah Rauschenburger’s shot from the point bounced into the back of the net of an Andover stick. That goal brought an exciting back and forth first period to a close. 

The top-seeded Huskies found themselves back in front early in the third period. Hunter Jones buried it for Andover, giving them a 2-1 lead just 30 seconds in.

St. Thomas Academy had a quick response after the first goal by the Huskies, and the Cadets followed through once again. This time, it was senior Will Soderling that tickled the twine. The Cadets quickly added another a few minutes later, giving them a lead, 3-2, for the first time tonight. Despite trailing on the scoreboard after two periods, the Huskies lead the shots on goal 20-13.

Trailing after two periods as the top seed, the Huskies came out in full desperation, pounding 16 shots on goal in the third. But nothing could find its way past Tommy Aitken. He stopped all 16 of those shots and stole the game for the Cadets, shining bright on the state’s biggest stage. 

With the win, St. Thomas Academy is on to the semifinals, where they’ll face either Hill-Murray or Moorhead.