Last year's 9 a.m. start to the Class 1A third-place game didn't sit well with Warroad. So on Friday afternoon it used two power-play goals to make certain that it fit into a Saturday afternoon time slot.
Warroad's 4-1 victory over South St. Paul at Xcel Energy Center advanced the Warriors to the noon state championship game against Blake.
"If our memory serves us right, we didn't want to play at 9 o'clock in the morning. That is a tough one," Warroad coach David Marvin said jokingly.
His daughter and senior forward, Lisa Marvin, added, "We owed them one. We felt like they took one from us last year. We didn't want it to happen again," she said. "Last year we looked back and said 'What if?' We didn't want it to have to be that way this year."
The Warriors lost 4-2 to South St. Paul in the same game a year ago, failing to convert on six power-play opportunities.
This wasn't the case on Friday. Marvin (two assists, one goal) scored the game's first goal on a power play. Kayla Gardner (two goals, one assist) increased the lead to 2-0 with a second-period power-play goal.
South St. Paul achieved its goal of limiting Warroad's offense early in the game. The Packers gave up just one goal in the first period and trailed only 2-1 heading into the third period. Warroad, however, tacked on a goal and closed out the scoring with an open-net score.
"Our team was working so hard and we were doing so well in the first and then second period, said Riley Viner, South St. Paul's only scorer. "I really believe in our team, but it just didn't go our way."