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Warroad falls in OT in state girls hockey final

ST. PAUL--It took 2 1/2 periods Saturday for the Warroad-Breck clash to finally become a championship classic. Obvious nerves, choppy play and a dearth of offense made for a painfully slow and grinding match where little was risked and scant rewa...

Warroad forward Madison Oelkers (13) is tripped up by Breck School forward Sadie Lindsay (8) as forward Ally Qualley (16) skates past in the third period of the Class 1A championship game of the State Girls Hockey Tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (John Autey / Pioneer Press)
Warroad forward Madison Oelkers (13) is tripped up by Breck School forward Sadie Lindsay (8) as forward Ally Qualley (16) skates past in the third period of the Class 1A championship game of the State Girls Hockey Tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (John Autey / Pioneer Press)

ST. PAUL-It took 2 1/2 periods Saturday for the Warroad-Breck clash to finally become a championship classic.

Obvious nerves, choppy play and a dearth of offense made for a painfully slow and grinding match where little was risked and scant rewarded between the two best Class A girls hockey teams in Minnesota.

But a night's worth of tension and excitement at the Xcel Energy Center was unpacked in the final eight minutes of the third period and just eight seconds of overtime before Breck prevailed 3-2 to earn its first state title since 2012.

Sadie Lindsay banged in her own rebound after the Mustangs pushed down the ice off the OT opening faceoff to ignite her team's celebratory dogpile and traditional flinging of sticks and gloves into the air.

"It was one of the greatest feelings of my life, quite honestly," said Lindsay. "To win a state championship has always been a huge dream of mine, and it's a dream come true."

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Twice Warroad rallied from one-goal deficits to tie the score, including Marlie Johnson's power-play tally with 27 seconds remaining in regulation. But overtime had hardly begun before it suddenly was all over.

"It ended earlier than I thought it would," lamented Warroad coach David Marvin. "We were fortunate to still be in the game in the third period. We felt we were one shot away. But you can't win a championship by playing one period."

Olivia Mobley's initial goal 2:18 into the second period provided the Mustangs a tenuous lead, but they were playing stingy enough on defense to tease the possibility of a 1-0 victory. However, a costly hooking penalty by Emily Zumwinkle with 7:27 remaining gave Warroad the booster shot it desperately needed.

Genevieve Hendrickson won the faceoff and drew the puck back to Kaitlyn Kotlowski, whose low wrist shot beat Uma Corniea on the short side to tie the game 1-1.

Mobley's second goal of the game with 2:30 left gave Breck a 2-1 lead moments after Lindsay had her go-ahead goal overturned by video replay when off-ice officials determined she knocked the net off its mooring before the puck crossed the goal line behind Warroad goalie Quinn Kuntz.

Warroad (24-4-2) outscored New Ulm and Alexandria 12-1 in the tournament and had won 12 straight games, including a 4-2 win over Breck in January. But the Warriors were chasing most of the night and ran out of time and opportunities to overcome the Mustangs with the stakes at the highest.

Warroad forward Marlie Johnston (19) pops the rebound over the shoulder of Breck School goalie Uma Corniea (41) for the tying goal late in the third period of the Class 1A championship game of the State Girls Hockey Tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (John Autey / Pioneer Press)
Warroad forward Marlie Johnston (19) pops the rebound over the shoulder of Breck School goalie Uma Corniea (41) for the tying goal late in the third period of the Class 1A championship game of the State Girls Hockey Tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (John Autey / Pioneer Press)

Related Topics: WARROADHOCKEY
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