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Cretin-Derham Hall, White Bear Lake book final spots in Minnesota boys hockey tourney

The Raiders and the Bears picked up wins in their section title games on Friday night.
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The field is set for the 2024 Minnesota State Boys Hockey Tournament as Cretin-Derham Hall defeated St. Thomas Academy and White Bear Lake defeated Hill-Murray in their section championship games on Friday night.

The Bears and the Raiders join Rochester Century/John Marshall, Chanhassen, Centennial, Grand Rapids, Edina and Elk River/Zimmerman in the Class AA field while Hermantown, St. Cloud Cathedral, New Ulm, Orono, Northfield, Mahtomedi, Alexandria and Warroad make up the Class A field.

The brackets and game times for this year's state tournament will be released on Saturday morning.

Cretin-Derham Hall 3, St. Thomas Academy 1

The Raiders were victorious in the Section 3AA title game thanks to a pair of third-period goals that punched their ticket to the Xcel Energy Center.

Chuck Owens opened the scoring at 9:03 of the second period with assists from Max Bennett and Marcus Matayas and Nate Chorlton gave the Raiders a 2-0 lead with assists from Matayas and Cam Autrey at 1:17 of the third period.

Peter Murray chipped into the lead for the Cadets with his goal from Brody Dietz and Tommy Kertz at the four-minute mark of the third period but Owens put the game away with 1:01 remaining, scoring an empty-net goal to put the Raiders in the Class AA tournament.

Owen Nelson made 35 saves in net for Cretin-Derham Hall while Cody Niesen made 19 saves for St. Thomas Academy.

The Raiders' win meant that St. Thomas Academy coach will have to wait until next year to become the winningest coach in Minnesota high school hockey history. He remains tied on 707 wins with Rochester Mayo coach Lorne Grosso.

White Bear Lake 3, Hill-Murray 0

White Bear Lake Hockey

White Bear Lake's Leo Gabriel earned the shutout by making 29 saves to help the Bears win the Section 4AA title game.

Jack Stanius scored 36 seconds into the game from Nolan Roed to give the Bears all the offense they would need and Blake Eckerle and Roed added empty-net goals in the final minute to send White Bear Lake to the X.

Andrew Lane made 14 saves for Hill-Murray.