New Ulm is tired of brief appearances in the girls' hockey state tournament. On Wednesday, the Eagles were overwhelmed by No. 1-seed Warroad 9-0, extending a streak of five consecutive tournament berths with a first-round loss.
The most recent defeat could be pegged on lack of experience. Among the Eagles' core players are six ninth-graders, an eighth-grader and two seventh-graders. Freshman Brooke Schugel is the team's leading scorer with 30 goals.
For nearly two periods the Eagles didn't play like an inexperienced team, though, surprising Warroad with a close 2-0 contest for 30 minutes.
Freshman goalie Bailey Landreville suggested there is plenty of room for improvement.
"We just have to keep working hard to get better. It all depends on next season," said Landreville, who played only five minutes Wednesday.
History made with first goal
Mound Westonka's girls' hockey team made program history as the only state tournament newcomer in either class.
Sophomore forward Abby Brustad made herself the answer to a trivia question by scoring the White Hawks' first goal. She scored at 5:28 of the second period in Wednesday's 5-2 quarterfinal loss to third-seeded Blake.
"It was so exciting," Brustad said. "We were talking before the game about who was going to get the first goal. I was hoping it would be me."
Coaches used to be teammates
Friday's Class 1A semifinal matchup between No. 2 seed Red Wing and Blake holds special meaning for coaches Scott Haley and Shawn Reid, varsity hockey teammates at Lakeville for one season.
Reid, in his first season at Blake, was a sophomore when Haley was a senior. Reid recently showed his son an article about Haley and Lakeville's other two captains.
"Scott's line would score goals and my line, the third or fourth line, would shut down the other team," Reid said.
Said Haley: "I wasn't a star. I was a grinder at best. Shawn was much more talented and went on to play at Gustavus Adolphus."
More important, both coaches said, was their relationship.
"My older brother is two years older than Scott and treated him well as a sophomore," Reid said. "Scott did the same for me."
Blake beat Red Wing 4-2 in December, ending the Wingers' 11-game, season-starting winning streak.