Two goals by defenseman Dylan Bouten helped the Elk River Elks win the all-important rubber match with the Andover Huskies 4-2 on Saturday to earn a shot at the section championship.
Ben Johnson and Chase Springman also scored for the Elks, who were 2-for-2 on power plays and 3-for-3 on penalty kills, while Mac Berglove stopped 29 of 31 shots, at Amsoil Arena in Duluth.
The No. 2 seeded Elks (20-6) face No. 1 seed Duluth East (20-6-1) in the Section 7AA finals Thursday at 7 p.m. at Amsoil.
In conference play, the Elks beat Andover 7-6 in a wild shootout Dec. 7 and the Huskies (18-9) got a 5-2 payback win on Feb. 1, each team winning at home.
Andover got on the board first with Andy Feyo beating Berglove at 13:00 of the first period, but Johnson, on a power play, scored 1:14 later, a assists by Jake Jaremko and Springman.
Andover took another lead at 4:22 of the second period on a goal by Tyler Tomberlin, who’s riddled the Elks for six of his 27 goals in three games.
However, Bouten scored twice, less than three minutes apart, first at 7:11 with Nolan Dwyer assisting, then at 10:17 on the power play with Jack Geissler assisting. Those were seventh and eighth goals by Bouten, a junior.
Springma added his 21st goal of the season 3:08 into the third period, with Peter Jones and Matt Kierstad assisting, and Berglove and the defense made the lead stand.
The Elks beat Duluth East 3-2 in Duluth on Dec. 10 but the Greyhounds, who’ve won this section five straight years, got the top seed anyway and have been on a roll late in the season, outscoring their last six opponents 33-8.