ST. PAUL — The semifinal round of the state tournament was in sight for Delano Thursday night at the Class A State Tournament. Then, in a matter of 4 minutes and 22 seconds, it vanished.
Mahtomedi tied the game at 12:38 of the third period and added three more goals, including an empty-netter, to overtake the Tigers and take the game 5-2.
Adam Johnson scored the tying goal with 4:22 remaining on the third-period clock on a breakaway after sneaking behind the Delano defense. Johnson slipped the puck five-hole through the pads of Delano goalie Cade Lommel.
“We were looking for a stretch pass behind their defense and luckily it worked,” Mahtomedi coach Jeff Poeschl said.
Johnson’s goal pumped life back into the Zephyrs, and, just over a minute later, they were in front for the first time.
J.D. Metz got behind the Tiger defense for the go-ahead goal. He put Mahtomedi on top 3-2 at 13:46.
“They just got a couple bounces back-to-back,” said Delano’s Trevor Oja, who assisted on both of the Tigers’ goals.
The game snowballed out of control following the two quick goals and the change of momentum.
Nicolai Dulak scored Mahtomedi’s first insurance goal at 15:10, and Colin Hagstrom capped the game with an empty-net goal at 16:52.
The loss put Delano in the consolation semifinals. The Tigers play Wright County Conference foe Hutchinson Friday at noon at 3M Arena at Mariucci.
The win puts Mahtomedi in the semifinals Friday afternoon against No. 1 Warroad. That game is at 1 p.m.
READ MUCH MORE ABOUT THIS GAME IN FRIDAY’S DELANO HERALD JOURNAL