When you are Warroad, your reputation is often as big as your talent.
Hockey excellence is expected.
The Warriors (24-3-1) were seeded second in the Class 1A state tournament, as much a result of their name as their record. They lived up to that seeding Wednesday, scoring three second-period goals to defeat first-time entrant Northfield 3-0.
But Warroad coach Dave Marvin sought to temper expectations after the quarterfinal game at Xcel Energy Center.
"I've a got a young team, too," he said. "Nobody asked me where we should be seeded. I'm confident in my team, but I've got a lot of kids who never played here before. They had some jitters."
Those jitters, along with a spirited effort by Northfield (19-10) resulted in a scoreless first period. Warroad broke through midway through the second period when senior forward Demi Gardner rapped home a puck that had caromed off the end boards back in front of the net.
"If came off at an awkward angle, and I saw my opportunity and I took it," Gardner said.
Warroad settled down after that, scoring two more goals in the second period. Gardner scored her second of the game on a wrist shot that deflected off a Northfield player four minutes later. Sara Baumann scored on a screened shot at 11:44 of the period for the final goal of the game.
"Normally, our locker room is really loud. We're not a serious group, but before our game today, no one was talking," Gardner said. "After our first goal, every one started moving their legs more and you could feel the intensity go up."