Watch Breck seventh-grade goaltender Uma Corniea and there's one thing that stands out, other than her netminding skills.
"She's always smiling," said Breck coach Ronda Engelhardt.
By Saturday evening, the goaltender had plenty of reasons to smile. She helped lead the No. 2-seeded Mustangs (19-10-1) to a 3-2 overtime victory over top-seeded Warroad to win the Class 1A championship at Xcel Energy Center.
Warroad (24-4-2) tied the game with 27 ticks left in regulation before Breck freshman Sadie Lindsay scored 8 seconds into overtime.
"I just had a quick shot at the end," Lindsay said, after she got a pass from Gabby Billing. "Our goal [was] to score quicker than we did in the section final overtime."
Mission accomplished, by a 1:42 margin.
Breck took a 1-0 lead into the third period after sophomore Olivia Mobley scored early in the second period. That lead held up until Warroad junior Kaitlyn Kotlowski's point shot off a faceoff tied the score with 7:21 left in regulation, 6 seconds into a power play.
Then with 2:46 left on the clock, the real excitement started.
Lindsay appeared to put the puck in the net as she and a defender slid into the goal, knocking it off its pegs. It was ruled a goal on the ice but overturned upon review. The Warriors bench erupted in cheers at the momentum with the game still tied 1-1.
But 14 seconds later, Mobley took the momentum right back with the go-ahead goal off a rebound. Lindsay had the helper.
"There were a lot of emotions going on there," Mobley said. "We got back out on the ice … determined that we were going to score this next shift."
Then the Warriors pulled their goaltender with 1:40 to play, getting a 6-on-4 advantage with a Breck penalty in the final minute. Sophomore Marlie Johnston tied the game one final time.
"We were fortunate to still be in the game at that point," Warroad coach David Marvin said. "We battled hard, but you can't play one period and win a championship."
For Engelhardt, she wanted to make sure her team didn't go into its shell.
"Because we've been known to turtle, just get afraid and not go out there and compete," said Engelhardt, who became the first woman to win a girls' hockey state title as a player (Roseville, 1996 and 1999) and coach.
The win gives Breck its first state title since 2012, when it also won with a 3-2 score in double overtime.
Corniea (10-5-1) made 25 saves but saw her shutout streak of 182:46, spanning four games, end with Warroad's first goal.