Maple Grove and Centennial were tied through two periods, with plenty of scoring chances and power plays each way. Then Crimson sophomore Lauren Stenslie scored off a rebound in front 2 minutes, 24 seconds into the third period to take the lead.
"Puck luck," Maple Grove coach Amber Hegland said. "Fortunately for us, in the third period, one went in."
Stenslie's winner helped the Crimson beat Centennial 4-1 in the Class 2A, Section 5 title game Friday at Roseville Ice Arena. Before the play, she said her coach was saying "go to the net, go to the net."
"Her biggest strength is just that she goes hard," Hegland said. "She puts herself in a position to track down rebounds."
Senior co-captain Mannon McMahon created the play with the initial wraparound attempt.
"On that goal, we definitely changed the momentum of the game," McMahon said.
Centennial had struck on junior Allison Pitlick's 21st of the season for a 1-0 lead about five minutes into the second.
The Cougars (13-13-2) had momentum with a couple of power plays after that, but Senior Goalie of the Year finalist Lucy Morgan came up big for No. 8 Maple Grove (19-7-1). Chloe Corbin tied the score 1-1 with 5:18 left in the second with a shorthanded, unassisted goal.
The Crimson protected the one-goal lead, allowing only five shots on goal in the final period. Then the insurance came with the only power-play goal of the game, when Tristana Tatur scored from her knees with 56.6 seconds left.
Stenslie added her second of the game 14 seconds later.
"Just coming in as a sophomore and helping the team out means so much to me," Stenslie said.