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Class A Girls Hockey State Quarterfinal: South St. Paul 1, Fergus Falls 0, 2 O.T.

Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2023 - 9:39 PM


The first day of play at the 2023 Class A Girls Hockey State Tournament ended with an epic defensive battle that finished with South St. Paul (22-5-1) claiming a 1-0 victory in the second overtime session against Fergus Falls (22-5-1) on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

The Packers’ brought home the victory with a dazzling unassisted goal by Sarah Wincentsen at 10:10 of the second overtime session.  In a play that developed after Wincentsen forced a Fergus Falls turnover and picked up the puck at the center line, Wincentsen, a senior forward, broke through three defenders and beat Fergus Falls goalie Annika Jrykas on the right side to claim the game-winner.  The goal was the 22nd of the season for Wincentsen.

The goal capped a dominant set of overtime sessions for the Packers, which saw them outshoot the Otters 6-0 in the first overtime and 7-3 in the second overtime period.  Overall, South St. Paul owned a 42-19 lead in shots on goal in the game.

The goal was the lone flaw in an impressive performance by Jrykas, who consistently stymied South St. Paul’s scoring attempts throughout the evening.  She had 41 saves in the game for the Otters and that total included 10 saves apiece in the second and third periods along with a total of 12 saves in the overtime periods.

Neither team was able to capitalize on the power play during the game as Fergus Falls was 4-of-4 on the penalty kill and South St. Paul was 2-of-2 on the penalty kill in the contest.

Of note, Alida Ahern led South St. Paul with 10 shots on target and Wincentsen had nine shots on goal.  The Packers’ goalie of record was Delaney Norman with 19 saves and the shutout victory over Fergus Falls.

South St. Paul will now advance to play Warroad at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24 at the Xcel Energy Center in the Class A Girls Hockey State Tournament semifinals.  Next up for Fergus Falls will be a consolation bracket game against Albert Lea at Noon on Thursday, Feb. 23.  The game will be played at the TRIA Rink at Treasure Island Center in St. Paul.

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