South St. Paul 3, Hibbing/Chisholm 0
A nice bounce helped break a scoreless tie in the third period.
Brigette Miller's shot deflected off Hibbing/Chisholm's goaltender to give South St. Paul a 1-0 lead. The night's first goal at 2 minutes, 36 seconds of the third period would be enough for the Packers to advance to Friday's girls' hockey Class 1A state semifinals, though two more scores made the final 3-0 on Wednesday night at Xcel Energy Center.
"We picked it up, we worked harder, we made better passes and had more shots on net, so we had rebounds to get," said Riley Viner, who had a goal and two assists. "I knew we could do it. ... We didn't give up."
Nikki Karg's drop off to Viner set up the initial shot on the Packers' winning goal. It bounced off Bluejackets goalie Amanda Klennert's stick to within Miller's reach.
Through the first two periods the teams had exchanged quality shots, but were unable to finish. Each goalie often fell to the ice to preserve a scoreless game for 37 minutes. The Packers eventually got to Klennert, while Sydney Conley of South St. Paul got her ninth shutout.
Viner celebrated her team's second goal 8:12 into final period. Officials originally waved it off but changes their ruling after a five-minute review.
The Packers' victory avenged a 4-3 loss in overtime to Hibbing/Chisholm midway through the regular season.
"When we lost to Hibbing that's when the turnaround happened, and we started picking it up," said Abby Palmquist, who scored the Packers' final goal.
Warroad 9, New Ulm 0
It took Class 1A's top seed 30 minutes to find a rhythm, but the wait proved to be worth it. Warroad's four goals during a two-minute stretch late in the second period sparked a 9-0 rout over New Ulm on Wednesday night in the third quarterfinal of the girls' hockey state tournament at Xcel Energy Center.
"We've had some slow starts in the past," said Lisa Marvin, who had four goals for Warroad, "but once we do get going, we play a good game and it's hard to beat us after that."
Throughout the first period Warroad overwhelmed New Ulm's defense, but only took a 2-0 lead. The tempo drastically changed after the first intermission.
New Ulm returned to the ice with more confidence and more direction. The Eagles executed plays and found ways to break up the Warriors' efforts. These adjustments meant a defensive-focused second period until the Warriors finally started scoring in bunches.
"I don't think it was urgency, we knew we remained in control the whole game," Sierra Hanowski said. "... We knew, if we did what we could do, we wouldn't have any problems. We knew our first period wasn't our best, and we had to come out harder."
Hanowski's awareness to split a pair of New Ulm defenders on a breakaway led to the first goal during their four-goal outburst. Hanow-ski pulled all attention in her direction before dishing off to Kayla Gardner for the easy goal. Thirty two seconds later, Marvin scored her second goal to make it 4-0 after intercepting a pass near New Ulm's net. Gardner's sister, Demi, and Kimberly Schaible got the next two goals.
Red Wing 6, Alexandria 2
To illustrate Nicole Schammel’s marksmanship, Red Wing girls’ hockey coach Scott Haley left a square space between his hands the size of a disposable camera.
Schammel scored four goals to fuel the Wingers’ 6-2 victory against Alexandria in Wednesday’s first Class 1A quarterfinal game at the Xcel Energy Center. Two of them were fit into tight spaces.
“She’s got about four square inches to get in it and she does it,” Haley said.
Schammel, a junior left wing, tallied a first-period hat trick as the Wingers jumped to a 4-1 lead.
Alexandria threatened to catch the Wingers in the second period, getting an early goal from Shelby Iverson to cut Red Wing’s lead to 4-2. Officials waved off a second Alexandria goal in the period — in which it outshot Red Wing 14-11 — ruling the puck had been kicked in.
“The final score was no indication of how the game felt,” Haley said.
Schammel, who has verbally committed to Minnesota State Mankato, eased her team’s tension. Her fourth goal, unassisted, increased Red Wing’s lead to 5-2 midway through the middle period and moved her state-leading season totals to 73 goals and 124 points.
Alexandria coach Andy Shriver said his team executed its plan to limit Schammel. But when players assigned to shadow her went to the bench, Schammel went to work.
“She found the puck, found the net and scored,” Shriver said. “She has a pinpoint shot. On one of her goals I had a great angle on it from the bench and I couldn’t see any net.”
DAVID LA VAQUE
The Blake School 5, Mound-Westonka 2