MINNEAPOLIS — The 2018-19 Delano teamed ended its season the same way the 2016-17 team did, clutching the Class A state consolation championship trophy for a postgame photo at Mariucci Arena.
This current Delano squad claimed the hardware with a 2-1 win over North Branch before the lunch bell rang, as the Tigers and Vikings faced off at 9 a.m.
The win was not an easy one for the Tigers, as they had to kill off a five-minute major penalty over the final 4:47 of regulation to secure the one-goal lead. In the final minute of that time, Delano faced a 6-on-4 situation after the Vikings pulled goalie Jake Turek for an extra skater.
Delano failed to clear the puck on several tries, but the Tigers did what they pride themselves on — blocked shots, a handful of them in that final minute. Goalie Aaron Kruse peaked his eyes around screens and through traffic, but did no feel a piece of rubber in the closing minute.
Kruse made 21 saves for the game.
Turek made 17 saves for North Branch.
Delano led 2-0 on goals by Michael Weber and Adam Brown. North Brach made a game of it with two minutes to play in the second period, when Joey Kerchner beat Kruse cleanly.
Brown figured in on both Delano goals, and finished with six points for the tournament. He set up Weber for the game’s first goal at 9:50 of the first period, and used his hustle and tenacity to poke a puck through Turek for a short-handed goal at 9:33 of the second.
Brown had two assists in the Tigers’ 6-4 opening-round loss to Greenway. He scored the first of his two goals in Delano’s 2-1 win over New Ulm in the consolation semifinal game Thursday.
Jacob Marciniak had the second assist on Weber’s goal in Saturday morning’s game. It was the second assist in as many consolation games for Marciniak.
Quinn Daly had the lone assist on Brown’s goal.
Not long after Delano accepted the consolation trophy at Mariucci, St. Cloud Cathedral raised the Class A championship trophy at the Xcel Energy Center following a 5-2 win over Greenway.
Mahtomedi defeated East Grand Forks 7-3 for third place.