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Girls Hockey: 2024 State Tournament Day 3 Recap

Posted: Friday, February 23, 2024 - 11:08 PM

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Championship Saturday is set in Girls Hockey.

In Class A, a championship showdown with storybook implications is unfolding. First, you have Warroad, a tradition-rich program that is seeking a three-peat of Class A crowns. Opposite, it is Dodge County, a state tournament rookie trying to complete what has been a compelling season’s journey.

Over in the Class AA field, it will be a battle between two member schools that have the same colors: Edina and Hill-Murray, who sport green hello and white. It will be a rematch of a non-conference game the two played on Nov. 30 when Hill-Murray recorded a 2-1 victory.

Here is a look at how the semifinals unfolded:

Warroad, the No. 4 seed to open the Class A field Minnesota State High School League’s Girls Hockey State Tournament, took another step toward a potential third consecutive state championship with a riveting 3-2 victory over top-seeded Holy Angels in the semifinals on Friday, Feb. 23 at the Xcel Energy Center.

The Warriors (21-8-0), a four-time state champion and five-time runner-up faces tournament rookie Dodge County in the Class A title game on Saturday at 4 p.m.

In the first period, Warroad owned a 19-7 lead in shots but was not able to break a scoreless draw until the closing seconds of the period when Kaiya Sandy scored at 16:44 with an assist from Maddie Skogman.  The Warriors started the play with a shot from the point that was followed by scramble in front of the net that finished with Sandy converting the goal on a rebound.  This was Sandy’s second goal of the 2024 tournament. 

Holy Angels tied the game at 7:11 of the second period with an even strength goal by Isabelle LaMere with a solo assist from Emilie Anderson.  This was LaMere’s fourth goal of the state tournament.

The Warriors retook the lead late in the second period with a goal at 15:44 by Jaylie French, which included assists from Kaylee Kalbrener and Reagan Haley.

In the third period, the Stars knotted the scored at 2-2 at 6:42 with a goal by Maysn Mullen.  The assist was credited to Harper Poehling, who provided Mullen with a perfect centering pass from the boards to the right of the net.

Warroad regained the lead :31 later with Taylor Reese’s second goal of the tournament at 7:13.  Reese converted a rebound off the back board on a shot initially taken by teammate Vivienne Marcowka, who was credited with the solo assist.

In the closing minute of play, Holy Angels pulled it goalie but the Warriors were able to offset the extra attacker and hang on for the 3-2 win.

Warroad led the game in shots at 38-26 with both teams going 0-of-2 on the power play.  Payton Rolli was Warroad’s goalie of record with 26 saves, while Zoe Rimstad had 35 saves for Holy Angels in net. 

Earlier in the day, Dodge County continued to seize the state tournament opportunity with a 4-2 victory over No. 2 Orono.

The Wildcats battled back from an early 1-0 deficit after the first period to claim the victory on the strength of three unanswered goals in the second period.  Dodge County will now advance to its first ever Class AA title game, which will take place at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Xcel Energy Center against the winner of today’s other semifinal showdown between #1 seed Academy of Holy Angels and #4 seed Warroad.

The runner-up at last year’s Class A tournament, Orono lit the lamp first in the game as Maddy Kimbrel scored at 12:16 of the first period.  Kimbrel drove to the net and put a shot on goal, which was initially stopped by Dodge County netminder Ida Huber.  On the following rebound, Kimbrel scored her 25th goal of the season to give the Spartans a 1-0 edge.

Early in the second period, Dodge County evened the tally at 1-1 with a power play goal from the left dot by Nora Carstensen on a solo assist from Abby Simons.  This was Carstensen’s 34th goal of the 2023-24 season.

At 9:45 of the second period, Dodge County’s Kylie Meyer scored an even-strength goal to give the Wildcats a 2-1 lead.  Assists on the play were added by Alyse Williamschen and Hannah Peterson.

Just 20 seconds later, Dodge County’s Maysie Koch broke up an Orono play at the Wildcat’s blue line and took the puck the distance on a breakaway to score her team’s third goal of the afternoon at 10:07 of the second period.

Orono rallied in the third period with a backhander from the slot by Macy Rasmussen that founded the back of the net at 6:30 and cut the Wildcat lead to 3-2.  Assists on the goal were provided by Gabrielle Lopez and Alexa Niccum.

The Spartans continue to put pressure on throughout the third as they outshot Dodge County 13-5 in the period but several key stops by the Wildcat’s Huber kept the score at 3-2.  With just over 1:00 left in the period, Orono pulled its goalie but were unable to convert as Dodge County’s Koch scored an unassisted empty net goal at 16:38 to make the final 4-2.

Huber finished the contest with 35 saves and gained the victory in goal for Dodge County as Orono outshot the Wildcats 37-26 in the game.  On special teams, Dodge County was 1-of-1 on the power play and 2-of-2 on the penalty kill.

In the Class AA semifinals later Friday, No. 2 Hill-Murray recorded a 3-1 victory over No. 3 Andover to earn a berth in the championship game for the first time since 2015 when it won consecutive crowns. Senior goalie Grace Zahn, a finalist for the Jori Jones Award, an honor recognizing the top goaltender, lived up to those accolades by limiting Andover to just one power play goal while making 36 saves. She made 21 saves in the second period and another 10 in the third.

Hill-Murray (25-3-1) opened the game’s scoring at 4:23 of the first period with a goal by Ella Hornung with an assist from Chloe Boreen.  The Pioneers then extended their lead at 6:14 with a power play goal by Jaycee Chatleain with assists being credited to Boreen and Josie Skoogman that gave Hill-Murray a 2-0 edge.  It was Chatleain’s third goal of the tournament and 27th marker of the season for the Pioneers.

Andover (22-5-3) broke the shutout at 12:21 of the first period with a power play goal by Mackenzie Jones, who connected on a shot from the slot on assists from Cailin Mumm and Courtney Little.

The Huskies rally was short-lived as Hill-Murray fired back at 12:46 of the first period with a goal by Emiliana Engelhardt.  Chatleain located Engelhardt open in front of the Andover net an the connecting pass resulted in the goal that gave the Pioneers a 3-1 lead.

The loss snapped a streak of four consecutive appearances in the Class AA championship game for Andover, which won the title in 2020 and 2022 and finished as the Class AA runner-up in 2021 and 2023.  Hill-Murray will return to the state championship game for the first time since back-to-back titles in 2014 and 2015.

Edina, the No. 4 seed wrapped up the semifinals with a 3-2 victory over No. 1 Minnetonka. It was the Hornets’ second victory over the Skippers in three contests this season.

Edina has previously won state titles in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021, while Hill-Murray gained state crowns in 2014 and 2015.

After a scoreless first period in which both teams had seven shots on goal apiece, the Hornets gained a 1-0 lead at 4:44 of the second period on an even strength goal by Lorelai Nelson that included assists from Cate McCoy and Hannah Halverson.

Edina extended its lead to 2-0 at 8:19 of the second with a highlight reel play that started with Halverson splitting the Minnetonka defense and then connecting with an open McCoy, who lit the lamp for the Hornets’ second goal.

The Skippers stepped into the scoring spotlight at 8:45 of the second period on another quality play as Isabella Finnegan deked her Edina defender and went top shelf to score Minnetonka’s first goal of the contest with an assist from Sydney Boss Krohn.

Minnetonka went on to tie the contest at 1:02 of the first period as Kendra Distad found the back of the net on a backhanded flip that went top shelf for the score.  Assists on the play were added by Finnegan and Lindzi Avar.  This was Distad’s 20th goal of the year.

Edina wasted little time regaining the lead as the Hornets’ Brenna Prellwitz scored at 2:36 of the third to make it 3-2. A pass from Whitney Horton provided Prellwitz an opportunity to crash the net and score her second goal of the tournament.  Camille Dubuc was credited with the second assist on the play.

The Hornets outshot the Skippers 36-23 in the game and they were 2-of-2 on the penalty kill, while Minnetonka had no penalties called on it during the game. Reese McConnell gained the victory between the pipes for Edina with 21 saves in the game, while Minnetonka goalie Layla Hemp had 33 saves in the game.

Class AA Consolation

Lily Erickson and Jasmine Honda scored the game’s first two goals and that set the pace in Roseau’s 4-1 victory over Rosemount in the Class AA consolation semifinals at TRIA Rink in St. Paul. The Rams pushed their lead to three goals in the second period on a tally by Summer Byfuglien.

In the following game, Kelsey Olson scored two goals during a five-goal outburst in the first period to pave the way for Maple Grove’s 7-2 victory over Northfield. Olson finished with three goals and an assist while Bella Shipley contributed a goal and two assists.



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