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Section 3A boys hockey: Luverne to face New Ulm in finals

ST. PETER — Top-seeded Luverne will meet a powerful New Ulm team Wednesday night for the right to represent Section 3A in the state Class A boys hockey tournament.

Luverne pushed its record to 26-0-1 Saturday by beating Hutchinson 4-0 in the semifinals at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter. Third-seeded New Ulm, a 5-4 overtime winner over No. 2 Willmar in its semifinal game, will meet the Cardinals to decide the section champ at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Gustavus.

LHS started sluggishly against the fourth-seeded Tigers on Saturday, said head coach Derrick Brown.

“They took it to us, for the first six or seven minutes it was in our zone,” Brown said.

But when Andrew Verhey, assisted by Chaz Smedsrud and Jaxon Nelson, scored the first goal of the game at the 7:24 mark, the Cardinals settled down. Another first period goal three minutes later, from Toby Sengvongxay assisted by Logan Norman, put the Cards up 2-0.

Brown said his Cardinals had “full control” in the second period, and they used it to increase their lead to 3-0. Jackson Frankenhoff scored the goal assisted by Gunnar Olson and Jake Aukes. A third period goal was added by Olson, with a Connor Sandbulte assist.

Luverne out-shot Hutchinson 36-24 for the game, getting outshot 9-7 in the first period but out-shooting the Tigers 11-4 in period two and 18-11 in period three.

The Cardinals won despite logging 25 minutes in penalties compared to Hutchinson’s six.

“We can’t afford to do that again,” Brown said.

What the Cardinals hope to do again, however, is get another outstanding game in goal from senior Kendall Meyer, who shut out the Tigers on Saturday. New Ulm is a gifted team offensively with a third-year starter to man its own net. The Eagles have also won the section tournament in three of the last four years.

“Hopefully we can lean on Kendall Meyer to be the goalie he’s been for us,” Brown said.

Hutchinson 0 0 0 — 0

Luverne 2 1 1 — 4

Doug Wolter

Doug Wolter is the Daily Globe sports editor. He served as sports reporter, then sports editor, news editor and finally managing editor at the Daily Globe for 22 years before leaving for seven years to work as night news editor at the Mankato Free Press in Mankato. Doug now lives in Worthington with his wife, Sandy. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Doug, retired after a lengthy career in fast-pitch softball, enjoys reading, strumming his acoustic guitar and hanging around his grandchildren. He also writes books on fiction. Two of his stories, "The Genuine One" and "The Old Man in Section 129" have been distributed through a national publisher.

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