It was a wild, high scoring affair for the first quarterfinal game of the class AA state playoffs between Maple Grove and Blake on Thursday morning. Blake ripped off four goals in the third period to pull out a final victory of 7-5.
Both teams went back and forth in the first period with Maple Grove’s Joshua Giuliani scoring the first goal of the game and then Blake’s Joe Miller tying things back up a few minutes later. Grant Zick put Maple Grove back on top 2-1 after receiving an assist from Ian Barbour. Miller was able to put in his second goal of the game and knot things up at two goals apiece in the final couple minutes of the first period.
The only goal of the second period came from Blake’s Jack Sabre which helped give his team its first lead of the game at 3-2. The third period was a complete offensive slugfest and Maple Grove struck first with Sam Jacobs scoring the first goal and tying the game up at three apiece. Blake would go on to net the next two goals, one coming from Miller, giving him a hat trick and another goal for Sabre.
Maple Grove then found the goal twice in a 90 second period, one goal coming from Giuliani, his second of the game and one from Tyler Oakland, on a powerplay situation to tie everything up at five apiece.
Blake’s Will Svenddal score on a powerplay for Blake and then the Bears Gavin Best was able to score one more on an empty net to help put the game away.
Following this exciting victory the Blake Bears will now advance to the semifinals where they will play either No. 3 seeded Eden Prairie or No. 6 seeded Lakeville South on Friday at 6 p.m. at the XCEL Energy Center.