EAST GRAND FORKS - East Grand Forks Senior High is headed to the Minnesota Section 8A championship game.
Playing in its home of the East Grand Forks Civic Center, the top-seeded Green Wave overwhelmed Detroit Lakes 4-0 in Saturday night's semifinal to earn a trip back to the section title game.
Senior High (18-8) will take on either Thief River Falls or Warroad at 7 p.m. Thursday in the East Grand Forks Civic Center. The winner will advance to the state tournament in St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center.
"It's where we've wanted to be from the start of the year," Senior High coach Tyler Palmiscno said. "We know we're going to have to play a solid 51 minutes in the final. That's the way it is and that's the way it should be."
The Green Wave dominated their opponents in both their quarterfinal and semifinal games, outscoring them 13-0 and outshooting them 125-10.
But Saturday's game wasn't out of reach until the third period.
Senior High outshot Detroit Lakes 35-4 through the first two periods, but only had a 1-0 lead to show for it. The Green Wave scored three times in the opening 6:30 of the final period to take over.
"I thought DL played really hard and we had to earn it," Palmiscno said. "We did a good job playing from the dots down, getting pucks to the net. Their goalie made it tough on us through two periods. In the third, we made a couple little extra passes around the net and we wore them out a little bit."
Cole Avery, Mason Poolman and Landon Parker all delivered three-point games for the Green Wave. Avery had two goals and an assist, Poolman had a goal and two assists, while Parker had three assists. Josh Nelson also scored for Senior High.
Tucker Brown posted his third-consecutive shutout by stopping all nine Laker shots. His shutout streak is now at 198:54 minutes going back to a Feb. 9 game against Alexandria. His shutout wins have come against Thief River Falls, Red Lake Falls and Detroit Lakes.
"Going back to the Thief River Falls game, we're defending pretty good but we're playing really good puck pressure that's causing us to have the puck more than our opponents," Palmiscno said.
The Green Wave outscored the Lakers 9-0 on the season. They beat Detroit Lakes 5-0 on Jan. 12, the lone regular-season meeting between the teams.
Senior High got on the board first at 5:22 of the first period on a goal by Avery. Nelson, Poolman and Avery scored consecutive goals to open it up in the third.