Girls Hockey: Wingers' title hopes dashed by BlakeST. PAUL - Blake rolled three lines during Friday's Class 1A girls state hockey tournament semifinals and the Bears' depth proved too much for Red Wing in a 6-3 victory.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
ST. PAUL – Blake’s physicality and depth kept wearing on Red Wing Friday in the Class 1A girls state hockey tournament at the Xcel Energy Center.
The Wingers weathered the punches and remained a goal down going into the third period. But by then, the Bears fresh legs helped them grab control of the game on the way to a 6-3 victory in the state semifinals.
“If we played our first line, our first line was as good as or better than theirs,” Red Wing head coach Scott Haley said. “You could tell they were just deeper. We had some shifts even against their top line where we were buzzing and then our top line was up against their third line and couldn’t do anything.”
Red Wing senior defenseman Paige Haley, a finalist for Ms. Hockey, stayed on the ice throughout Friday’s game, sitting only while serving a 2-minute penalty in the first period.
“Physically I was fine most of the game,” Paige Haley said. “I think at the end it got a little hard but it just comes down to being mentally prepared for it. I was ready, I came into this game knowing I was going to play that much and I think I kind of broke down in the last 10 minutes.”
Those final 10 minutes proved the most important for third-seeded Blake as the Bears turned a 4-3 lead into a three-goal victory.
“They’re a fast team and you just have to know what you’re getting into before you start,” Paige Haley said. “They’re just a deeper, stronger, faster team than us so they got us.”
Karlie Lund tallied a hat trick to lead Blake, and Dani Cameranesi, also a finalist for Ms. Hockey, added two goals and two assists.
Red Wing Nicole Schammel, the state’s leading scorer, found less room to work against the Bears but still managed one goal in the loss. Emily Stegora and Katelyn Hadler each added a goal in the loss.
In the first period, Lund helped the Bears strike first with a rebound goal at 10 minutes, 49 seconds with an assist from Cameranesi.
Schammel wristed in her fifth goal of the tournament 28 seconds later and the score remained tied 1-1 into the first intermission.
Blake came out on fire in the second period and netted two goals in the first four minutes. Cameranesi’s goal was the result of a rebound that wasn’t cleared from in front and Lund scored when Red Wing goaltender Ashley Corcoran lost sight of a loose puck. Lund snuck the goal between the right goalpost and Corcoran’s right skate for a 3-1 lead.
Then, the Wingers’ top line of Schammel, Reagan Haley and Stegora finally pressured the Bears and it led to a rebound goal for Stegora with assists to Alexis Stewart and Hailee Johnson. Shortly after, Blake made a mistake on the power play that led to a 2-on-1 breakaway for Hadler and Maddy Hardyman. Hadler found the back of the net shorthanded for a 3-3 tie.
That momentum was short lived as Carly Bullock scored on the power-play to take a 4-3 lead into the third period.
“I thought once we tied it up we would really take off,” Scott Haley said. “We had it going and it just took the wind out of your sails at that point.”
In the final period, Blake’s physical play took full effect. Lund banged home another rebound goal and Cameranesi unloaded a wrist shot past Corcoran on the power play with 48 seconds remaining for the final tally.
The Bears’ outmuscled a smaller Red Wing team, beat the Wingers to loose pucks and controlling the puck along the boards.
“That’s just how we play,” said Blake head coach Shawn Reid. “The whole credit goes to the players. We came with a game plan, the word we used a lot was ‘initiate.’ We had to initiate everything on the ice. We had to go in there with tenacity.”
The Wingers had a chance to be more competitive at this year’s state tournament than in past year’s and Friday’s result, despite the final score, showed they can hang with the top teams.
“At the beginning of the season, our goal is always to make the section final and take it from there,” Scott Haley said. “Since the section finals, it’s been kind of one thing at a time. I felt like we had the opportunity to be more competitive in the state tournament than we have and I feel like we certainly were today.”
Red Wing gets another shot at a top team today at 9 a.m. at the Xcel Energy Center. The Wingers play fourth-seeded South St. Paul, which was runner-up to Breck at last year’s state tournament.
Blake 1 3 2—6
Red Wing 1 2 0—3
First Period: 1. B, Karlie Lund (Dani Cameranesi), 10:49. 2. RW, Nicole Schammel (Reagan Haley, Nadine Marty), 11:17. Penalties: Paige Haley, RW (roughing), 8:58. Maddy Hall, B (roughing), 8:58. Jordan Chancellor, B (hooking), 15:44.
Second Period: 3. B, Cameranesi (Lund, Alex Lovaas), 2:34. 4. B, Lund, 3:47. 5. RW, Emily Stegora (Alexis Stewart, Hailee Johnson), 8:25. 6. RW, Katelyn Hadler, 11:48 (SH). 7. B, Carly Bullock (Cameranesi), 11:58 (PP). Penalties: R. Haley, RW (tripping), 10:38. Schammel, RW (interference), 14:42.
Third Period: 8. B, Lund (Lovaas, Chancellor), 4:49. 9. B, Cameranesi (Bullock), 16:12 (PP). Penalties: Chancellor, B (checking), 7:07. Hall, B (interference), 11:22. Schammel, RW (cross-checking), 15:48.
Shots on goal: Blake 15-10-9—34. Red Wing 5-10-6—21.
Power-play opportunities: Blake 2 of 3. Red Wing 0 of 3.
Goalies: B, Tori Johnson (21 shots-18 saves). RW, Ashley Corcoran (34 shots-28 saves).