Red Wing senior Taylor Heise, with 67 goals and 95 points this season, saw her team’s state championship hopes ended Wednesday afternoon. But before she finishes her senior season, there’s another team she’s focused on: The U.S. women’s hockey team.

Team USA was set to play in the Olympics gold medal game against rival Canada at 10:10 p.m. Central time Wednesday. Heise said she planned to watch “at least half the game.”

“I’ve been a big supporter and follower,” Heise said. “It’s super cool to watch them because you can see all that hard work that they put in in high school and college.”

Heise and Team USA defenseman Cayla Barnes were teammates on the American team in the 2016 and 2017 IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championships. Heise said she’s been texting with the team to let them know they have support.

The Red Wing forward has watched the women’s Olympic team throughout the Games and said she’s definitely learning.

“It’s super cool because you know that one day, that could be you,” Heise said.


Finishing on big stage

No. 2 seed Breck is back at the state tournament for the first time since winning the Class 1A title in 2012.

Sophomore Olivia Mobley scored a pair of goals in the Mustangs’ quarterfinal victory over Marshall, going to a backhanded move to fake out the goaltender.

A huge part of her game is using her size to get to the net, but earlier in the season Mobley said she got there but couldn’t finish.

“This time, the state tournament, I definitely wanted to make it a point to finish,” Mobley said.


Goals galore for Beltz

New Ulm senior Ali Beltz scored 66 goals in her first four seasons on the team. This season, she has 68.

Beltz, who has committed to Division III Wisconsin-River Falls, has scored at least three goals in 15 games as a senior. She said she did not expect to score that many.

“We just keep pushing it, getting more opportunities and just put pucks on the net, and sometimes it goes in,” she said.

New Ulm coach Kristin Faber praised Beltz’s development as a hockey player.

“She’s just a very huge impact player for us,” Faber said.