With seven Minnesotans helping the U.S. women capture Olympic gold, a record-breaking 50 Minnesotans playing in the NHL this season, and everything in between, it’s been another wild season in the State of Hockey.
It may not be over yet, but here are some of the top plays by Minnesotans this year:
Ryan Poehling goes between the legs
Lakeville native Ryan Poehling collects a pass and speeds toward a breakaway against North Dakota. The St. Cloud State sophomore stickhandles to his backhand, which brings the goaltender down. Poehling then pulls the puck backward, between his legs, and lifts it over the goalie with his forehand.
Randklev makes SportsCenter
We know, we know, you've seen this one already, but it's worth watching again. Moorhead senior Carter Randklev wowed the home crowd earlier this year with some unbelievable hands and stick work. He flips the puck in the air with his backhand to his forehand and returns it to his backhand. And then, with one hand, he drags the puck between the defenders legs to his forehand, and fires the puck in off the post. The goal made SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays that evening. WATCH
Wheeler records fastest hat trick in Jets history
Plymouth native Blake Wheeler tallied three goals within a span of 4 minutes and 20 seconds against two-time defending Stanley Cup champions, a franchise record. First, the Jets captain capitalizes on a 2-on-1 rush with a five-hole deke. Second, Winnipeg creates a turnover at their offensive blue line and Wheeler races to the net, where he redirects the puck into the net. And finally, he showcases his smooth stickhandling by walking around a defenseman and beating the goaltender up high with a backhander.
Brock Boeser wins All-Star Weekend
The Burnsville native has been well known throughout Minnesota for years, but has quickly developed a larger fan base in Vancouver and throughout the U.S. His big coming-out party was at the 2018 NHL All-Star Weekend, where he won the shooting accuracy challenge by cracking one of the digital targets, and then earned All-Star MVP honors after scoring two goals in the 3-on-3 tournament. WATCH
Grace’s first as a Gopher
It wouldn’t take long for 2017 Ms. Hockey winner Grace Zumwinkle to score her first collegiate goal. The freshman from Excelsior blasted a one-timer from the dots with her signature slap shot during the first period of their season-opener against Merrimack. Zumwinkle won the WCHA scoring title and finished the season with 38 points in 38 games.
Dani Cameranesi goes top shelf – twice
Dani Cameranesi tallied two huge goals for Team USA in the 2018 Olympic semifinal game against Finland. Late in the first period, the Plymouth native showed great anticipation by intercepting Finland’s breakout attempt. She takes the puck toward the net and rips a snapshot into the short-side top shelf over the goaltender’s blocker shoulder. Then, early in the third period, Cameranesi found some open space in the slot on the power play. Vadnais Heights native Hannah Brandt fed her with a saucer pass, and Cameranesi ropes it into the other upper corner – glove side – to give Team USA a 4-0 lead. WATCH
Rooney’s legendary overtime save
Everyone was talking about the shootout the next morning, and rightfully so, but Maddie Rooney’s paddle save with just 42 seconds left in overtime was jaw-dropping. There would be no shootout – and no gold medal – without Rooney’s instincts and athleticism to deny Canada’s Rebecca Johnston. WATCH
Rooney’s gold medal-winning shootout
After coming up big in overtime, Rooney had to finish the job. The 20-year-old netminder stopped four of six attempts to secure gold, including the final save on Meghan Acosta to seal the deal.
Before winning their first state title in school history, the Minnetonka boys’ high school team had to beat Holy Family in the Class 2A Section 2 final at Mariucci Arena. Down by 1 with just three seconds left in regulation, Teddy Lagerback sent the game to overtime. It wasn’t until the second overtime period when senior defenseman Josh Luedtke collected a loose puck at the blue line, showed poise and vision while skating through traffic, and then picking the top corner just over the goaltender’s glove for a highlight-reel finish. WATCH
Mittelstadt’s silky mitts
Eden Prairie native Casey Mittelstadt turned heads at the 2018 World Junior Championship in Buffalo. His goal against Slovakia in particular was silky smooth. Mittelstadt hustles out of the offensive zone and steals the puck from an opposing player. He then curls back into the offensive zone with speed and drags the puck around the defenseman. While using his body to protect the puck, he cuts across the front of the goal and buries the puck with his forehand before flying through the air, Bobby Orr-style.