Somewhere in the nanoseconds after the red goal-light shined and the Lakeville North fans erupted, sophomore Morgan Manes realized what she had done.
Manes' goal 59 seconds into the third overtime allowed the Panthers to escape with a 3-2 victory against Mounds View in Thursday's Class 2A quarterfinals at Xcel Energy Center.
"I didn't know I scored; I was in shock," said Manes, who has 13 goals this season. "In the past, these games haven't come out the best for us."
The Panthers (23-4-2) saw their title dreams end in overtime in the past two state tournaments, including last year's six-overtime marathon against Minnetonka. That game lasted 113 minutes and 29 seconds — the longest Minnesota high school hockey game ever played.
Panthers coach Buck Kochevar credited his veterans for rallying the troops.
"The captains said, 'We have been here before and they haven't,' " Kochevar said.
Mustangs goalie Mary Dingman faced 40 shots and denied several great chances, such as Maddie McGlade's shorthanded breakaway in the second overtime.
Goals from Alexis Joyce and McGlade built a 2-0 Panthers lead. Bella Sutton got Mounds View (17-9-3) on the board late in the second period.
Both teams had goals reviewed in the third period. Lakeville North's was overturned. Only 14 seconds later, Bailey Thompson's goal was reviewed and upheld. She tied the score 2-2 and eventually forced overtime.
David La Vaque