In hindsight, Scott Haley admitted he should have seen it coming. The Red Wing coach thought his team wouldn’t be nervous for Wednesday’s Class 1A quarterfinal, but he underestimated the emotions that grip most players at Xcel Energy Center.
The Wingers felt some anxiety during the first period against a stout Alexandria defense. But Maddy Hardyman and Ashley Corcoran found the cure as Red Wing defeated Alexandria 3-0. Hardyman’s goal off of a defensive miscue gave the Wingers (24-4-1) a 1-0 lead at 5 minutes, 57 seconds of the second period, while Corcoran stood firm through a tight first period and stopped all 25 shots she faced.
Alexandria (16-10-1) outshot Red Wing 10-5 in the first period but could not score despite several good chances. Reagan Haley, the daughter of the Wingers’ coach, scored twice for Red Wing and now has 47 goals this season.
“It kind of took me by surprise,’’ Scott Haley said of his team’s nerves. “After they settled down after the first [period], we started to play our style. You could see the creativity.’’
Hardyman scored after Alexandria goalie Amy Jost gloved the puck and tried to push it with her hand to a defenseman. Hardyman swooped in, seized the puck and scored from the right circle.
Alexandria came up empty on five power plays, and could not get past Corcoran on 13 third-period shots.