South St. Paul leaned on its top two veterans in a 5-1 quarterfinal victory against Hibbing/Chisholm.
Senior defenseman Anna Barlow, playing in her fifth state tournament, scored two goals. Senior goalie Sydney Conley made 23 saves in her 63rd win, a program record.
No. 5 seed Hibbing/Chisholm (12-13-2) led 1-0 after the first period on a goal from senior forward Sarah Fairbanks. But the deficit failed to rattle the Packers.
“We’ve been down by a goal a few times this season and we’ve come back to win,” Barlow said. “I don’t think we panicked. We do pretty well at staying calm and getting the job done.”
Two Hibbing/Chisholm penalties gave No. 4 seed South St. Paul (16-11-2) a 5-on-3 advantage and the Packers pounced. Barlow and junior forward Abigail Felton tallied power-play goals just 1 minute, 5 seconds apart in the second period.
“That changed the whole game and I was not happy,” Hibbing/Chisholm coach Pete Hyduke said.
His players kept battling, forcing Conley to stop several breakaways. “Without Syd, we wouldn’t be where we are,” Barlow said. “With four or five breakaways, you’d expect one to go in. She keeps us confident.”
South St. Paul scored a season-best five goals.
“Syd Conley must be going, ‘Thank you; finally,’ ” South St. Paul coach Dave Palmquist joked.
David La Vaque