Thursday's Class 2A, Section 4 championship game became youth night at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood as the Hill-Murray girls hockey team got goals from players representing grades 8-10.

Only one of them, sophomore Sophie Olson, is old enough to drive. She got her license on her birthday, which falls on Halloween. Her go-ahead goal in a 5-2 victory over Stillwater put her behind the wheel of the Pioneers' state tournament-bound bus, which is St. Paul bound for the first time since 2020.

The Pioneers youth movement was too much for a Stillwater team led by 13 seniors.

One of those seniors — forward Brooke Nelson, a Ms. Soccer Award finalist last fall who signed with South Dakota's soccer program — knotted the score 2-2 with 1:11 remaining in the second period.

Gut check time for the kids in green and white. Olson ensured the moment wasn't too big.

"Only one of our seniors has been to the state tournament," the forward said. "We always want the best for each other, so it was an amazing feeling I won't forget."

The Pioneers shook off Stillwater's tying goal and bagged the next one. Olson put her team ahead 3-2 at 6:16 of the third period. The Ponies never got any closer.

"Credit to Hill-Murray," Stillwater coach Annie Cashman said. "They had a couple bounces go their way. Other than that, I thought it was a well-played hockey game by both teams."

Older players on both teams also contributed. Senior defender Josie Lang scored from the point for a 1-0 lead for Stillwater (18-9-1) at 3:04 of the opening period. Senior Chloe Boreen drew the Pioneers (24-3-1) level exactly five minutes later.

Boreen scored her team's first and fifth goals. In between, Hill-Murray turned to its younger players for the offense.

"Age doesn't matter," Boreen said. "I'm not surprised. We have a really good team, and I am so proud of us."

Hill-Murray previously beat Stillwater 4-0 on Dec. 5. Winning the playoff rematch required Olson's third-period goal. Eighth-grader Olivia Braunshausen, whose older sister Avery was a Still­water captain last season, bumped Hill-Murray's advantage to 4-2 just over two minutes later.