If the Breck girls' hockey team is getting sick of facing Blake in the sectional final, it is not letting it show.
Behind strong performances from Kayla Mork and defenseman Milica McMillen, the Mustangs defeated the Bears in the Class 1A, Section 5 final for the second consecutive season, and for the third time in the past four years, winning 5-1 on Thursday night at Parade Ice Arena.
"They're our biggest rivals, and it's always great to play them in the section finals," McMillen said. "And I think it's a great game to watch."
She and her teammates made sure of that.
Blake scored first, with a shot from co-captain Abbie Lund sneaking past goalie Taylor Neisen three minutes into the game. But five minutes later, Mork tucked the puck around the right post for the equalizer.
Then, halfway into the second period, Breck took control. Blake outshot the Mustangs 12-6 in the period, but many of the Bears' offerings flew high and wide, and Neisen made 30 saves overall.
"This is the strongest team I've ever been a part of," Breck coach Lenny Vannelli said. "These girls coach themselves. I might have a little wisdom, but that's about it."
McMillen, snagging the puck from center ice, weaved in and out of defenders until, directly in front of the net, she put a clean shot past goalie Chloe Billadeau for a 2-1 advantage.
Breck kept the pressure on and added three more goals. A few minutes later, McMillen directed another masterpiece from about 30 feet out, and Mork deflected it in for the goal. Karina Marette and Katherine Schipper also scored for the Mustangs.
"They played physical, hard; they played the way they always play," Blake coach Brano Stankovsky said. "They keep coming at you. And we kept hitting the goalie."