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Taking down Goliath: Chanhassen stuns Tonka for first tourney trip

Previously unbeaten Minnetonka was conquered with a 2-1 upset.

Hugs and photos with teammates marking the moment Chanhassen qualified for its first boys hockey state tournament were complete.

Then, senior goaltender Kam Hendrickson skated to the nearest goal and tapped his paddle on each post.

"The hockey gods are watching," Hendrickson said of his solo postgame ritual.

Hendrickson had plenty for which to be thankful. He made 44 saves and led the Storm to a Class 2A, Section 2 final victory Thursday at Braemar Arena.

"Goaltending does a lot of good things; it solves a lot of problems," Minnetonka coach Sean Goldsworthy said. "I think we out-chanced them, but the difference was Kam tonight. He did a hell of a job. He earned it."

Defending state tournament champion Minnetonka (25-1-2) didn't score until John Stout's goal with the extra attacker at 15:06 of the final period. Up to that point, Hendrickson kept the Skippers at bay.

"I'm not successful without my team," Hendrickson said. "They bailed me out more than I could imagine."

Chanhassen (23-5) jumped to a 2-0 lead by the first intermission. Senior right wing Andy Earl scored his 18th and 19th goals this season to elicit cheers from the Storm half of the sold-out building

"We took down Goliath tonight," Earl said. "Kam played amazing, and we're going to the X."

Hendrickson was on his game through the first 17 minutes, making 14 saves — none more dramatic than when he stoned Minnetonka's Hagen Burrows on a breakaway.

"If that right there doesn't say 'Brimsek,' I don't know what does," a proud teammate said of Hendrickson's overall performance, referencing the Frank Brimsek Award presented to the state's top senior goaltender. The award winner will be revealed on Sunday after next week's state tournament.

Chanhassen coach Sean Bloomfield was greeted afterward with a hug from Minnetonka assistant coach Tom Stretar, who encouraged Bloomfield that "now it's your turn to go win it" in St. Paul next week.

Bloomfield praised Hendrickson for driving the bus.

"That's playoff Kam," Bloomfield said. "You could tell he wasn't going to lose. I think from the first save he made, the way he tracked it, he was dialed in."

. . .

Chanhassen's Chase

The Star Tribune has been following the Chanhassen boys hockey team this winter in its attempt to reach its first state tournament. And the Storm has now done just that, with Thursday night's win over Minnetonka. You can read previous installments of our Chanhassen's Chase series here:

Tap here for the first story in the series.

Tap here for the second story.

Tap here for the third story.

Tap here for the fourth story.