Blake sophomore Sara McClanahan spent plenty of extra time this season working on the one skill she needed most in the Class 1A, Section 5 girls' final against Breck.
After many practices, McClanahan — daughter of former NHL and Olympic player Rob McClanahan — would fire puck after puck at an open net, working on a quick-release shot and honing her command under pressure.
The work paid off Thursday in overtime when McClanahan got open ice and quickly fired before Breck goalie Jenna Brenneman could set up.
The puck flew into the net, and McClanahan found herself at the bottom of a pile after scoring the winner in Blake's 3-2 victory to claim the section title.
"I was in the moment," McClanahan said. "All season my coaches have been telling me a quick shot is a lot better than a slow shot, and I oftentimes think about it too much. … I just shot it quickly, not really thinking about it."
After a scoreless first period, Breck's Grace Zumwinkle and Blake's Carly Bullock each scored shorthanded goals in the second. But in what became a fast-paced period, Breck went back ahead only 16 seconds after Bullock's goal, this time on Cheyenne Harris's power-play goal.
Not to be outdone, Blake tied it with 3:23 left in the second on an unassisted score from Grace Vojta.
After a third period in which neither team could gain an edge, Blake coach Shawn Reid said he told his team to simply stay composed entering overtime.
That's the mentality McClanahan had. Her score ended what had been a classic Breck-Blake showdown — a complete gridlock until the end. Even the shots ended up 27 apiece, but Blake had the one that counted most.
"I don't get tired of it, but you lose years of your life going through a Breck-Blake game," Reid said.