Boys hockey: Northfield advances to consolation championship

By Nick Gerhardt

Northfield advanced to the consolation championship game with a 4-3 victory Thursday against New Ulm at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood. 

Senior winger Cayden Monson scored his second goal of the tournament to break a 2-2 tie with 1 minute, 14 seconds left in the second period. His go-ahead goal, assisted by senior winger Kam Kaiser, came just 46 seconds after the Eagles (23-7) tied the game behind a goal from Austin Uecker at the 15-minute mark.

The No. 8-ranked Raiders (23-5-2) jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first period behind goals from sophomore center Michael Steward and Kaiser. Steward scored a short-handed goal at 4:13 of the period for his seventh of the season. Kaiser struck at 10:22 of the period with a power-play goal for his 37th goal of the year. Monson and senior defenseman Ty Frank assisted on Kaiser’s goal.

New Ulm’s Landon Barstad halved the lead with a power-play goal that came 4:09 into the second period before Uecker tied the game. 

Frank added a goal in the third period at 5:31 to increase the lead to 4-2 with sophomore winger Christian Whiteman and junior winger Griffin Kennelly assisting. 

The Eagles made it a 4-3 game when Talan Helget scored at 10:07 of the period but Northfield hung on for the victory.

The Raiders killed off four of five penalties in the game and went 1-for-3 on the power play. Senior goaltender Trey Shimota stopped 16 of the 19 shots he faced. Northfield finished with 30 shots on goal in the win. 

The Raiders move on to face Orono for the consolation championship Saturday at 11 a.m. at Aldrich Arena. The Spartans defeated Alexandria 8-1 to advance. Orono defeated Northfield 4-1 in the regular season Nov. 28 in Northfield. The two teams met in last year’s quarterfinals with the Spartans coming away with a 2-1 overtime victory over the Raiders.

Northfield’s win marked its first since defeating Mahtomedi in the 2017 state tournament.