Minneapolis boys hockey team beats Delano to reach first state tournament in 28 years

For the first time in 28 years, a Minneapolis-based boys high school hockey team is headed to the Boys State Hockey Tournament.

Minneapolis made history Wednesday night at St. Louis Park Arena, beating Delano 3-1 in the Section 2A championship game to advance to play at Xcel Energy Center next week. Minneapolis hasn’t made a state tournament since Edison did it in 1994.

Minneapolis was led by sophomore forward John Bebler, who scored two goals, and senior goalie Alex Lamont, who made 30 saves on 31 shots on goal in the victory. Minneapolis improves to 21-6-1 on the season and was the No. 1 seed in the section heading into the playoffs.

The Minneapolis team, coached by former standout Joe Dziedzic in his 10th season, consists of players from all seven city schools. A majority of the players attend either Minneapolis Southwest or Washburn.

"Too long. It’s been since 1994. This is our highest seed we’ve ever had, the No. 1 seed and that’s a different position. You’ve got pressure on you to perform, and our guys stepped up and took it one game at a time. I couldn’t be more proud of our boys," Dziedzic said. "Just awesome support, it’s a great day for Minneapolis."

Bebler’s goals gave Minneapolis a 2-0 lead before Delano scored about halfway into the third period to cut the deficit to 2-1. Just 73 seconds later, Zander Zoia scored a rebound goal to give Minneapolis a 3-1 lead that held until the final horn sounded, and the celebration was on.