Farmington vs. Lakeville North for all the marbles. Farmington was given the #1 seed solely because they owned a 2-0 record vs. Lakeville North during the regular season. But I figured that the seeding committee would give the nod to the Panthers because their KRACH ranking is much higher. Regardless, in the original preview I figured Farmington would be the team to come out of the section. Although Lakeville North has some good players Farmington simply is a more talented team.
Farmington 4. Lakeville North 1.
Eden Prairie beat Shakoppe 3-0 in the first semifinal. The score would indicate the game was closer than it was. EP outshot the Sabers 36-15. The Eagles’ Nora Wagner had 1 and 1, Becca Kniss added a shorty, and goalie Molly Goergan had the shutout.
Minnetonka beat Jefferson 8-2 but the score was 0-0 after 1. It looked like we had a game on our hands but Tonka scored :12 apart in the second to take a 3-0 lead and never looked back. The Skippers’ Lacey Martin had 4 and 2. That is Lacey’s second 4 goal game in a row in the postseason. She has 11 points in two playoff games! Emily Bayless had 2 and 1, and Kylie Melz had 3 assists.
These two teams split during the regular season. Tonka won the first game 4-0 and EP took the second 2-0. We should have great final.
EP 4. Tonka 3
In the Class AA Section Update I figured we might have an upset on our hands. And that is exactly what we got when East Ridge beat Eagan 2-0. After a great first half of the season Eagan came back to Earth in the second half. They went into Christmas with a 12-1 record. Their record after Christmas? 7-5.
For East Ridge getting forward Fiona Claugherty back was a huge shot in the arm. She missed 14 regular season games but was back in the line up to start February. In the three final regular season games she had 6 goals and 2 assists. In section playoffs she added 2 goals and 2 assists.
Congrats East Ridge!
Hill Murray will meet White Bear Lake in the final on Friday night. Hill Murray should win this game easily. But…..they will be facing one of, if not, the best goalie in the state in Calla Frank. All Calla did was stop 37 Stillwater shots in the semifinal for the shutout win. No big deal. But I still think Hill wins this one without much of a problem.
Hill 4. White Bear 0.
Maple Grove dispatched Blaine in the semifinals thanks to goalie Lucy Morgan’s 43 save shutout. Wow. Blaine turned up the heat in the third with 22 shots when things got a little desperate with the season on the line. But Lucy was unbelievably good and preserved the 3-0 win for the Crimson. Mannon McMahon had 2 and 1.
Centennial beat Rogers 2-0 in the other semifinal. Centennial goalie Mackenna Stoterau had the 22 save shutout and Allison Pitlick assisted on both goals.
Each team has a great goalie and because of that it will be a great game. But Maple Grove has a little more offensive firepower and that will be the difference.
Maple Grove 3. Centennial 2.
Cretin didn’t put up too much resistance in their game vs. Blake. The Bears’ Lily Delianides had a hat trick by the end of the second period, Maddie Tix added 2 goals in the third, and Grace Johnson sealed her Gordie Howe Hat Trick with a holding penalty in the third after getting an assist in the first and a goal in the second. The final was 7-1 for the Bears of The Blake School of Excellence.
Edina is happy that Hannah Chorske is back in the lineup after missing time for an injury. She led the way last night vs. Wayzata with a goal and 2 assists. Her linemates of Tella Jungels and CC Bowlby each chipped in a goal and Katie Davis put the nail in the coffin with a third period PP goal.
This will be a great section final. But I believe that with Blake having the higher seed and thus the home team last change advantage will be the difference. Coach Reid will be able to use that to gain favorable matchups for his top line of Daniel-Burton-Delianides.
Blake 5. Edina 3.
This final matchup might be as good as Section 6AA. Forest Lake vs. Andover.
We have all heard about Andover’s semifinal game vs. Elk River. They will be battle tested going into the final. The teams are evenly matched as evidenced by Forest Lake’s 1-0 win over Andover earlier in the season. But Andover likes to shoot the puck. They average 39 shots per game.
Andover 4. Forest Lake 2.
Well, NWC ruined my Section 8AA bracket by beating Roseau 2-1 in the semifinal. I had Roseau coming out as the 8AA champs. But in the original preview I profiled NWC as a potential spoiler because of the insane amount of production out of their first line. Mackenzie Bourgerie is the best player on that prolific line and she scored 2 third period goals to give NWC the 2-1 over Roseau. NWC goalie Anna LaRose did her part in steering away 38 of 39 shots.
Brainerd seems to be doing fine with their leading scorer Lindsey Booth out of the line up. But could that be the difference in the final when the game has the potential to turn into a track meet? Brainerd won both matchups between the two in the regular season.
Shall we go with another upset, NWC? Yeah? Okay. Let’s do it.
NWC 5. Brainerd 4.