Class A Girls Hockey State Semifinal: Warroad 4, South St. Paul 1
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2023 - 3:34 PM
Warroad (25-3-1) will get a chance to defend its Class A Girls Hockey State Tournament championship as the Warriors punched their ticket to the 2023 title game with a 4-1 win over South St. Paul (22-6-1) in the Tournament’s second semifinal game on Friday, Feb. 24 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Warroad will next match up against Orono in the Class A Girls Hockey State Tournament championship game at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Xcel Energy Center. Of note, Warroad has won Class A titles in 2022, 2011 and 2010.
In a tight defense battle in the first period, Warroad managed to break into the scoring column with an even-strength goal by Tayla Hendrickson at 2:38. Assists on the play were added by Kate Johnson and Cahliah Lindquist.
In the second period, Warroad extended its lead to 2-0 with a power play goal by Lexi Kirkeby at 9:52. The goal included a pair of assists from Hendrickson and Rylee Bartz.
South St. Paul battled back into contention in the third period as the Packers connected on a power play goal that narrowed the Warroad lead to 2-1. On a shot from just inside the blue line, Lily Pachl scored a power play goal for South St. Paul at 2:39 with assists from Bailey Vesper and Eva Beck.
Warroad returned to the scoresheet later in the third period with a goal at 8:34 by Kate Johnson. Teammate Rylee Bartz threaded a perfect pass to Johnson, who was breaking to the net. After a slick backhand/forehand combination, Johnson was able beat South St. Paul goalie Delaney Norman on the left side for the goal. Warroad’s Hendrickson was credited with the second assist on the play.
The Warriors pushed their lead to 4-1 at 12:58 of the third period as Johnson scored her second goal of the contest. On a pass from Hendrickson, Johnson was able to redirect the pass for a five-hole goal that had a second assist from Abigail Chamernick.
In the game, Warroad owned a 34-11 lead in shots on goal as both teams had one goal apiece on the power play (Warroad 1-of-3 and South St. Paul 1-of-1). Kate Stephens backstopped the Warriors to the win with 10 saves in the game, while Norman kept the Packers in contention throughout the game with 30 saves.
South St. Paul will now play Proctor-Hermantown in the third place game of the Class A Girls Hockey State Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.