Landen Gunderson (Maple Grove) of 17-White is denied on a wraparound attempt by 16-Blue goaltender Wes Johnson (Totino-Grace). Photo by Loren Nelson, LegacyHockeyPhotography.com
Dylan Godbout (Hill-Murray) scored a goal and added an assist in the second half as 17-Blue salvaged a 4-4 tie with 17-White on Sunday to join 16-Red as the only teams to go undefeated in the CCM Minnesota Hockey High Performance Boys 16 & 17 Final 54 Festival at Plymouth Ice Center.
17-Blue and 16-Red each went 2-0-1. 16-Red had the most goals of any team with 17, led by Drew Stewart (Benilde-St. Margaret’s) and Finn Brink (Maple Grove) with three each. 16-Red's Austin Burnevik (Totino-Grace), Sam Scheetz (Chaska) and Stewart shared the event points lead with three other players with five each.
17-Blue allowed nine goals, the fewest of any of the six teams, and 17-Blue's Nick Erickson (Hill-Murray) was one of five goaltenders to allow just four goals in three halves of play. 16-White goaltender Jack Hochsprung (Lakeville South) posted a .938 save percentage (61 saves on 65 shots) to lead all goaltenders.
Offsetting second-half performances — one goal, one assist — by 17-White’s Jaksen Panzer (East Grand Forks) and 17-Blue’s Dylan Godbout (Hill-Murray) led to a tie in a game with multiple lead changes.
Landen Gunderson (Maple Grove) had a goal and an assist in the first half as 17-White grabbed a 2-1 lead. 17-Blue rallied in the second half and led 4-3 with 11:40 remaining after a goal by Ben Portner (Lakeville South).
Panzer’s goal with 8:33 remaining tied it at 4-4.
Brett Holmer (Thief River Falls) had the top goaltending performance, stopping 11 of 12 first-half shots for 17-White.
The final game of the festival was originally scheduled for Saturday night but was postponed because of power issues at the Plymouth Ice Center.
Finn Brink (Maple Grove) and Drew Stewart (Benilde-St. Margaret’s) each scored their third goal in as many games for 16-Red as it salvaged the tie with 17-Red, which rallied from a 4-2 second-half deficit on goals from Gavin O’Connell (Wayzata) and Josh Giuliani (Maple Grove).
O’Connell scored twice for 17-Red, which also got a goal from Will Schumacher (Prior Lake).
Ben Dardis (Mahtomedi) turned in the top goaltending performance, stopping 21 of 23 second-half shots.
Peyton Blair (Centennial) scored twice in the second half as part of four unanswered goals for 17-White as it cruised to the victory over 16-Blue.
Blair also had two assists, both in the first half, to finish with four points. Brendon Hammer (Gentry Academy) had a goal and two assists to pace 16-Blue.
Sam Ranallo (Rogers) scored twice for 17-White, giving him three goals for the weekend.
Tommy Cronin (St. Thomas Academy) scored his second of the game as part of a run of four-unanswered second-half goals for 17-Blue in its come-from-behind victory over 16-White.
Cooper Conway (Andover) scored early in the second half to give 16-White a 3-1 lead. 17-Blue responded with goals from Anthony Madigan (Hill-Murray), Ben Portner (Lakeville South), Dylan Godbout (Hill-Murray) and Cronin en route to the win.
Matt Vander Vort (Edina) scored twice in the first half — including a breakaway goal as the horn to end the half sounded — as 16-White took a 2-1 lead at the break.