Big Nine champion Northfield won its first game at the state boys hockey tournament on a day in which three underdogs won.

It took Northfield a little while to get going against No. 3 seed Mahtomedi on Wednesday afternoon at Xcel Energy Center. The Raiders had just four shots on net in the first period and trailed 1-0 at intermission. Nicholas Kvernmo scored twice and Ryan Bielenberg made 34 saves as Northfield advanced to Friday's semifinals, where they will play Monticello/Annandale/Maple Lake. MAML won a battle of first-time state tournament teams by upsetting No. 2 Delano 3-2 in the opening game of the Class A tournament.

In the evening session, unseeded and unheralded Luverne took defending state champion and top seed Hermantown to overtime before losing 3-2. No. 5 St. Cloud Cathedral outscored No. 4 East Grand Forks 6-3 in the game that should have been the closest. The Class A semifinals are at 11AM and 1PM on Friday.

It was apparent that some players are making extra efforts to join the annual all-hair team video. Long hair, mullets, full beards and other coiffures were on display during introductions.

Class AA action Thursday features Lakeville South vs. No. 2 St. Thomas Academy, Hill-Murray vs. No. 3 Moorhead, defending champ Wayzata vs. No. 1 Eden Prairie and No. 5 Grand Rapids against No. 4 Maple Grove.

state tournament
Roy Koenig/Townsquare Media


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