Dec 31, 2023

Gillespie Leads Crusaders to 7-4 Win Versus Crush

Brian Moos / Program Director

The last game of the Granite City Classic Showcase pitted in-town rivals against one another. The St. Cloud Crush would tangle with private-school foe, St. Cloud Cathedral. Cathedral came into the matchup with a rocky couple weeks behind them, trying to rebound toward their high preseason expectations. They would start the contest on the right foot through their top line.

The Crusaders would pour on the goals early against the Crush, jumping out to a three-goal lead. After a shorthanded goal scored by Cathedral point-leader Andrew Dwinnell, his linemate Joey Gillespie would get to work. Gillespie added two goals in the middle of the first period, helped by Dwinnell and their center John Hirschfeld.

The Crush would answer to break up the early outburst. Sophomore Aiden Yurczyk would score on a powerplay started from a rare Goaltender penalty on Keaton LeGrande. It wouldn’t take long for the Crusaders to regain momentum, and it was through the hot hand. Gillespie would net another goal, giving him a hattrick in just the first period.

Down 4-1 heading into the second period, the Crush needed to respond. Unfortunately, Cathedral would make a statement first. Gillespie would score the eventual game-winner within the first five minutes of the second period, making it 5-1 Crusaders. Goals from Jackson Sheetz and Nick Bierschbach for the Crush, with a Cathedral goal from Hirschfeld would make it 6-3 to start the final frame.

The Crush would keep it respectable, but Cathedral had the upper hand in the cross-town rivalry matchup. Both teams would score in the third, bringing the game to a close with a 7-4 score. With the win Cathedral (9-3-1) has now picked up their third win in their last six games, trying to get out of a midseason rough patch. The Crush (4-5-1) have now dropped two straight games and have fallen below .500 with 15 games left in the 2023-24 season.

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