Duluth East Gets Handed First Shutout Since 2012 in 0-3 Class AA Quarterfinal Against Eagan
The Duluth East Greyhounds opened their sixth straight state tournament appearance against the Eagan Wildcats as the last quarterfinal game of the 2014 tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. East was seeded #4 in the Class AA bracket, with their opponent, Eagan, seeded #5.
Defense was the name of the game through the first period. Both teams remained scoreless through the period, but Eagan led in shooting 11-6 over the Hounds. After a hard-fought defensive second period, Eagan’s Max Elsenheimer found the net on a power play with just over one second left in the period to give the Wildcats the 1-0 advantage going into the second intermission.
The third period opened up just as fast and physical as the first two, with plenty of big hits and defense. At the 6:34 mark in the third period, Max Elsenheimer connected on a difficult shot, giving Eagan the 2-0 advantage. In the remaining minutes of the game, Eagan managed to successfully interrupt any offensive effort the Greyhounds attempted. With about a minute and a half left in the game, East pulled Gunnar Howg in favor of an extra skater. Eagan pushed the puck into the East zone, where Kyle Stebbing scored an empty netter to shut the door on the Greyhounds.
The 3-0 victory Eagan earned over Duluth East is the first shutout the Greyhounds have been dealt since December of 2012. Eagan will go on to play Edina in the semifinals, while East goes into the consolation bracket. The first game of that series will put the Greyhounds up against Stillwater at Mariucci Arena Friday at noon.