Shoves and word exchanges in the opening minutes of Friday's Class 1A semifinal helped inspire the Blake girls' hockey team.
First it was Maddy Hall doing the shoving, then Karlie Lund (three goals, one assist), then Haley Aldrich, each showing Red Wing there would be no relenting in what eventually became a 6-3 victory for the Bears.
"The physicality of [our style of play] just generally comes along," Blake star forward Dani Cameranesi said. "It gets me kind of fired up when people are trying to come at me."
The teams combined for eight penalties and Red Wing suffered the most from its four. Three key players missed eight minutes of action. Nicole Schammel, the state's leading scorer, sat out four minutes.
Blake capitalized on two of its three power plays. Carly Bullock scored the game-winner on the first power-play goal, breaking a 3-3 tie at 11 minutes, 58 seconds of the second period. Cameranesi scored the second goal with a player up in the last minute of the game.
Red Wing, seeded one spot ahead of the No. 3 Bears, rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the middle period to tie the score on Katelyn Hadler's shorthanded goal at 11:48. But 10 seconds later, Bullock answered.
Blake goalie Tori Johnson limited Schammel to one goal, scored in the first period.
Later the junior forward pushed the puck behind her and through her legs. And the defenseman on her fell, but Schammel's shot hit the crossbar.
"I couldn't quite find the back of the net as much as I normally do or as easily," she said. "I just think for our whole team, the puck just wasn't bouncing our way."