As Minnetonka leading scorer Lacey Martin poked the puck past a Roseau defender and took off toward the Rams' net, linemate Emily Bayless figured she was seconds from congratulating Martin on a goal.
Turns out Bayless started the party at the Xcel Energy Center. Martin's shot went off the pipe and Bayless arrived to sweep the puck home. Favored Minnetonka, whose lead in the girls' hockey quarterfinals Thursday had been cut to one goal about a minute earlier, was headed for a 7-2 rout of the Rams.
"She just went, and I was like, 'I might as well follow-up just in case,' " Bayless said. "Then it was just sitting there, and I said, 'Ope, I'll help you out a little bit.' It was a momentum shifter for us."
No. 3 seed Minnetonka (22-6-1) got ahead 3-0 against a Roseau team that it had throttled 8-0 on Nov. 15. But the Rams (21-6-2) didn't fold. Kate Helgeson and Kayla Santl scored and Roseau believed.
"We can definitely beat them," Santl said she recalled thinking.
Bayless changed the game's complexion with her second goal.
"Whenever they start getting that two-goal separation, the hill gets just a little bit higher," Roseau coach Steve Huglen said. "But even when it got to 4-2 [with Bayless' second goal], the attitude on the bench was, 'We're going to get this done.' There was no quit."
Which is why Skippers' coach Tracy Cassano couldn't relax: "Honestly, since we were up 3-0 and they came back, I was like, 'Let's get five.' "
DAVID LA VAQUE