by Dennis Dalman
Playing hockey on the “big ice” recently in the high-school AA state tournament at the Xcel Energy Center was one of the highlights of Keegan Karki’s young life.
Never mind his team didn’t win, although it didn’t matter too much because it was the experience that counted for Karki, one he will remember fondly for years. He played a hard game at the Xcel center with 43 shots on goal, 43-14.
“It was one of the coolest experiences,” said Karki, 16, a Sartell resident and goalie for the St. Cloud Cathedral Crusaders. “The Xcel center is where the Wild play, and it was cool for our team to be there, on TV, playing in front of the whole school.”
This season, the Crusaders won an impressive 18 games. The 20-member varsity team is coached by Derrick Brown.
Their place in the state tournament was the 12th time the Cathedral Crusaders made state. Though the team was defeated by St. Paul Academy 4-2, they went on to win the next two games in consolation at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis and won the consolation victory, beating Mankato and Litchfield.
Karki, the son of Carrie and Allan Karki, attended St. Francis Xavier Elementary School, then became a student at Cathedral High School. He has loved hockey since he was a grade-school student and has played goalie since he was 9 years old, first as a member of the Sartell Youth Hockey Association in the Mites, Squirt and PeeWee leagues and later for a Bantam league based in St. Cloud.
“What I love about hockey is the competitiveness,” Karki said during an interview with the Sartell-St. StephenNewsleader. “Winning, obviously, is fun, too, but win-or-lose, it’s great working together as a team.”
After graduation from high school, Karki will attend either the University of North Dakota or the University of Minnesota. He already has scholarships to both schools. He intends to get a business entrepreneurship degree. His biggest wish is to make it to the National Hockey League someday.
He has three siblings – Chandler, 18, who also played hockey and just finished his senior high-school year; Avah, 10; and Talia, 3.