Park skated hard, but host Burnsville did all the little things right to skate to a 5-1 victory in a boys' hockey Section 3AA quarterfinal Thursday at Burnsville Ice Arena.
Second-seeded Burnsville led throughout and blanked seventh-seeded Park until sophomore forward Samuel Janski scored a ‘so-what’ goal with 34 seconds to play. Brett Hill and Conner Nelsen got assists on Park’s lone goal.
The Blaze were up 1-0 after one period, led 3-0 after two and then 5-0 until the game’s closing minute.
Park coach Jay Moser pulled his goalie with five minutes to play to give the Wolfpack a little more firepower for a final push. That ploy didn’t work, however, as the Blaze put one in an empty net a minute and a half later.
Seventh-seeded Park finished the 2019-2020 season with a 9-15-2 record.
“I’m proud of them, they didn’t give up,” Moser said. “They played hard. We need the puck to bounce our way and tonight it was bouncing their way and they made good on it. Congratulations to them, but I had a hell of a fun time with my guys this year. It was a good group of guys to coach and I’m proud of them.
“There’s not much you can say,” Moser added. “They’re disappointed, obviously. It’s always better if you can compete up to the end but it is what it is. But at the end of the day, it’s high school hockey. They enjoyed their time playing high school hockey and this was a very, very good group of boys to coach.”
Burnsville advances to the section semifinals with a 16-8-2 record.
Burnsville hosts third-seeded Eagan Saturday in the section semifinals. Eagan edged sixth-seeded Bloomington Jefferson 1-0 in another section quarterfinal to advance. Top-seeded Rosemount and fifth-seeded St. Thomas Academy were other section quarterfinal winners Thursday.
Burnsville outshot the Wolfpack 45-21.
Neither team could take advantage of power plays. Park went 0-for-4 and Burnsville was 0-for-3.
Park hasn’t made it past the section quarterfinals since advancing to the semifinals during the 2011-2012 season.