Warroad beats Orono 4-3 in double-overtime to advance to Class 1A state title game
In another overtime thriller at the 2023 MSHSL Class A Boys Hockey Championship, undefeated Warroad (29-0-1) survived to gain a 4-3 double overtime victory over Orono (24-6-0) in the tournament semifinals on Friday, March 10 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
The Warriors made a quick offensive impact in the game, as forward Peyton Sutherland carded the opening goal at 1:01 of the first period. The play was unassisted as Sutherland connected on a shot that went over the top of the net. The resulting rebound off the glass behind the net ended up defecting back and bounced into the goal for a 1-0 Warroad lead.
Warroad advanced its lead to 2-0 at 13:30 of the first period with a goal by junior forward Carson Pilgrim. This was Pilgrim’s fourth goal of the tournament and it was started with assists from senior forward Jayson Shaugabay and junior defenseman Ryan Lund.
In the first minute of play in the second period, Warroad continued its control of the contest with a goal by Shaugabay, which was set up with an assist from junior forward Murray Marvin-Cordes at :41 that made it 3-0.
Orono broke the shutout at 13:50 of the second period with a goal by senior forward Joseph Greenagel. After an initial drive to the net by junior defenseman Joseph Mugaas and a scramble in front of the net continued by teammate senior forward Connor Lang, Greenagel was able to find a gap and tap the puck home for the Spartans’ first goal of the game.
The Spartans continued its third period comeback at 7:16 with a power play goal by senior forward Avery Anderson. Assists on the play were credited to Greenagel and Mugaas.
Orono then tied the game at 3-3 at 9:13 of the third period with an even-strength goal by junior forward Brooks Fegers. He attempted a wrap around goal but the puck hit the side of the net. On the resulting rebound, Fegers was able to regain control of the puck in front of the net and then connect on the game tying goal. Assists on the play were added by junior defenseman John Engebretson and Anderson.
After a scoreless first overtime session, the Warriors earned its spot in the title game with a goal by senior defenseman Erick Comstock, who scored on a slick cross ice pass from Shaugabay at :16 of the mark of the second overtime period.
In the closely matched contest, Orono outshot the Warriors 28-26, including a 13-3 shot margin in the third period. On the power play, Orono was 1-of-3 and Warroad was 0-of-2. Senior goalie Hampton Slukynsky earned the victory for Warroad with 25 saves, while senior goalie Brock Peyton had 22 saves for Orono.
Warroad will advance to the MSHSL Class A Boys Hockey Championship game on Saturday, March 11 against Mahtomedi. The title game will start at Noon and it will be played a the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Of note, Warroad was the runner-up and Mahtomedi placed third at the 2022 MSHSL Class A Boys Hockey Championship.
Orono will complete its season in the Class A third place game against Hermantown on Saturday, March 11 at 9:00 a.m. The game will also be played at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.