GIRLS HOCKEY: Senior High moves on with big win
ST. PAUL — At puck drop, the Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato student section chanted “overrated” at the No. 1 East Grand Forks Senior High girls hockey team.
That didn’t last long.
Senior High rolled in its first state appearance in program history, dismantling Litchfield/D-C 8-1 on Wednesday in the Minnesota state Class A tournament in the Xcel Energy Center.
Senior High, 25-2-1, advances to the semifinals and will play the winner of St. Paul United and Proctor/Hermantown at 1 p.m. Friday at the Xcel.
“Whether it was 2-1 in overtime or 8-1, we just wanted to get to that next round,” Senior High coach Jim Scanlan said. “Three games is a lot to look ahead at, so we were really focused on one at a time. Now, we’re looking at one more on Friday.”
The Dragons, 10-18, were also making their first state appearance. Litchfield/D-C will play a consolation game at noon at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.
After advancing to the state tournament with a pair of double overtime games in the Section 8 tournament, the Green Wave got to sit back and enjoy running time at the end of this one.
Sophomore Haley Mack led the charge with four goals and an assist, pushing her school scoring record to 43 goals and 36 assists on the year.
“She’s stepped up, and that’s the type of player she is,” Scanlan said. “It’s a bigger stage, you might say, but she relishes those challenges.”
Mack, along with her sister Alexa Mack, and Riley Koberinski each finished with a plus-six rating. Alexa finished with a goal and three assists, while Koberinski chipped in a goal and two assists.
“They’ve played together all year long, and they’ve developed a pretty special chemistry,” Scanlan said.
Haley Mack staked Senior High to a 2-0 lead with a pair of first-period goals. On the second goal, Mack stick handled her way through a pair of defenders before lifting a backhand over Dragons goalie Abby Roediger, who finished with 29 saves.
Haley registered the hat trick at 10 minutes, 6 seconds of the second period to give the Wave a 6-1 lead and notched her fourth of the night at 11:40 of the third for a 7-1 advantage.
“It was a good feeling, but I was more excited to see us up ahead and that we were all coming together to get the team win,” Haley said.
The Wave also received goals from eighth-grader Tiffany Hanson and senior CoCo Piche.
Senior High didn’t start to dominate the Dragons until midway through the first period. The Wave were on the penalty kill early, taking three checking penalties in the opening period.
“We were a little tight in the first period and that’s to be expected,” Scanlan said. “The game didn’t go as we envisioned, with the penalties and power plays. It was tough to get in a rhythm, but getting that first goal was key and we settled down after that.”
The Dragons’ lone goal came from Kennedy Sommerfeld, who made it 3-1 early in the first period.
“They were fast and moved the puck really well,” Litchfield/D-C coach Hannah Impola said. “They were also a physical team. So all those things combined made them tough.”