There's that smile again.
Edina goaltender Uma Corniea, a seemingly bottomless well of infectious good vibes for six varsity seasons, could be heard sobbing in the Xcel Energy Center bowels after the Hornets' semifinal Friday loss to Andover.
In the locker room, teammates put aside their own devastation to reciprocate all the love Corniea has shown through the years.
"I adore my teammates; they were unbelievably supportive," Corniea said. "Especially two of my good buds, Camille Dubuc and Tori Anderson — they really lifted me up."
Corniea's smile, her calling card since first playing varsity hockey as a seventh-grader at Breck, returned Sunday afternoon at the 28th annual Let's Play Hockey and Ms. Hockey/Senior Goalie of the Year awards banquet held at the St. Paul RiverCentre.
To no one's surprise, the state's career leader in victories (103) and shutouts (45) took home Senior Goalie of the Year honors.
Well, almost no one.
"I just didn't expect it overall," said Corniea, who is committed to Princeton. "There were so many talented goalies."
The other finalists were Sedona Blair (Holy Family), Hailey Hansen (Blaine), Sarah Peterson (Breck) and Courtney Stagman (Andover).
But there's only one Uma Corniea, a three-time state champion, twice at Breck and once at Edina. Ava Lindsay, a former Breck teammate turned Lake Conference opponent at Minnetonka, said Corniea's warmth isn't saved for outside the rink.
"I'll be near her net and she'll say, 'Hey bud, what's up?' " Lindsay said. "I'll tell her, 'You can't do this to me while we're playing.' "
Andover center Ella Boerger was named Ms. Hockey, capping an extraordinary four-year varsity career. She made four consecutive appearances in the Class 2A state tournament championship game, won it all twice and finished second in Huskies history with 231 career points (112 goals, 119 assists).
During Saturday's championship game, Andover coach Melissa Volk heard young girls hockey players from the community yelling Boerger's name in support. For Boerger, the connections run deep.
"The little girls know her on an individual basis because of all the time she gives back," Volk said. "Her character is unmatched."
The other Ms. Hockey finalists were Ellah Hause (Hill-Murray), Suzy Higuchi (Blake), Lauren O'Hara (Centennial/Spring Lake Park) and Kamryn Van Batavia (Luverne).
Right after Sunday's banquet wrapped, Boerger rushed back home to take part in the Junior Huskies' hockey program for children ages 3-8.
"Our team practices with them and we go to a lot of their games," said Boerger, who is committed to St. Thomas. "We enjoy it."
Both awards are sponsored by Let's Play Hockey and the Wild.