Blake coach Shawn Reid hadn’t forgotten how the Bears opened the Class 1A tournament last season, when they edged Alexandria in the quarterfinals by a single goal. “We had a very challenging first game last year,’’ Reid said. “We wanted to make sure we started off on the right foot this year.’’
His team clearly listened, as it raced past Hutchinson 9-0 in Wednesday’s quarterfinals at Xcel Energy Center.
The two-time defending state champion Bears (25-4) complemented their offensive firepower with equally strong defense, holding Hutchinson (16-11-1) without a shot on goal in the second and third periods. Blake goaltenders Anna Kruesel, who played the first two periods, and Halley Fine, who played the third, each tied the state tournament record for fewest saves in a period (0).
The Bears got a hat trick from Karlie Lund, and Carly Bullock contributed two goals and three assists. Blake outshot Hutchinson 42-3, including 23-0 in the final two periods.
Hutchinson attempted only two shots in the final two periods as Blake used its superior speed and playmaking to control the game.
The Bears led 3-0 after the first period and added five more goals in the second, with three of those scored in the final two minutes, 33 seconds of the period.
“The score today, we didn’t anticipate by any means,’’ Reid said. “It’s a good testament to our girls. They were ready and played very well.’’