Class A Girls Hockey State Quarterfinal: Proctor-Hermantown 4, Mankato East 3
Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2023 - 1:44 PM
In the opening game of the 2023 MSHSL Class A Girls Hockey State Tournament on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., Proctor-Hermantown (20-6-2) scored a 4-3 victory over Mankato East (20-7).
In a closely contested first period, Proctor-Hermantown gained a 1-0 lead on a goal by Nya Sieger, which included assists from Reese Heitzman and Jane Eckstrom. In the period, Proctor-Hermantown owned a 13-7 edge in shots.
The Mirage extended its lead to 2-0 at 5:11 of the second period with a goal by Heitzman. On a shot from the blue line by Proctor-Hermantown’s Katie Sandelin, Heitzman was able to gain the tip-in goal with the second assist being provided by Eckstrom.
To complete the second period scoring, the Mirage’s Ella Rothe scored on a play that was started by her own shot against Mankato East. Rothe managed to gain possession of the puck after the initial shot and score at 9:27 with assists from teammates Rylee Kalkbreener and Natalya Hooey.
In the third period, Mankato East took advantage of a rebound to break the shutout as Jessica Eykyn scored on a shot from the left circle at 2:15 to make it 3-1.
The Cougars narrowed the scoring to 3-2 second later with an even strength marker by Brielle Newtown at 2:31. Mankato East’s Mckenzie Keller set the play up with a breakaway attempt that hit the post, which then set up the rebound that Newton pounced on for the goal.
Proctor-Hermantown extended its lead to two later in the third period with a wrap-around goal by Heitzman at 4:52. The goal was assisted by Sieger and Morgan LaValley and it was Heitzman’s 20th of the season.
Mankato East then battled back to make it 4-3 at the 10:16 mark with a goal by Keller that included a solo assist from Kailey Newton.
In the closing minutes of the third period, Mankato East had a power play opportunity after the Mirage took a slashing penalty at 14:42. Proctor-Hermantown’s penalty kill was able to hold off the charge and help the Mirage hang on for the victory and advance to the semifinals on Friday, Feb. 24.
On the stat sheet, Proctor-Hermantown dominated with a 41-14 edge in shots on net that included a second period that saw the Mirage outshoot the Cougars 25-3. Neelah McLeod was the goalie of record for Proctor-Hermantown with 11 saves and the win, while Annaliese Rader had 37 saves in the loss for Mankato East.
Proctor-Hermantown will next play the winner of the Luverne-Orono game at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 24 at the Xcel Energy Center. Mankato East will continue their trip to state with a consolation bracket game at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23 at the TRIA Rink at Treasure Island Center in St. Paul.