Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



Girls hockey: Warroad explodes for six unanswered goals in rout of Proctor/Hermantown in state title game

Mirage were attempting to win back-to-back titles but fell flat after a strong first period.

Warroad vs Proctor-Hermantown_0147.jpg
Proctor/Hermantown's Nya Sieger (4) gets the puck away from the boards against Warroad during the first period Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

ST. PAUL — Warroad girls hockey forward Talya Hendrickson said the Warriors were a little down after a sluggish first period but knew better than to get too far down.

The state’s top-ranked Class A team was bound to erupt sooner or later, and the Warriors sure did.

Madison Lavergne and Kate Johnson scored two goals apiece as Warroad scored six unanswered goals en route to a 6-1 victory over Proctor/Hermantown in the Class A girls hockey championship Saturday at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, denying the Mirage back-to-back titles.

“The floodgates just opened up,” Hendrickson said. “You get one and it’s just bam-bam-bam. Usually we just build off that momentum and keep it going the rest of the game. Obviously, we hoped it’d be the first, but it’s not always the first (she laughed). We try our best.”

Warroad vs Proctor-Hermantown_0555.jpg
Warroad’s Kate Johnson (16) right, celebrates her goal with Warroad’s Lila Lanctot (55) during the second period Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

Warroad, playing in its seventh straight state tournament, brought a little luster back to “Hockeytown USA.” The Warriors won their first state title since capturing back-to-back championships in 2010 and 2011.


The Warriors were making their 13th state appearance and have finished as runner-up five times, including in 2019.

“It’s not about me. It never has been, but it’s kind of cool to win one with all my kids,” said David Marvin, in his 16th season as Warriors coach, visibly emotional. “It’s been close. We’ve been really close, and I can’t say it never affected me.”

Proctor/Hermantown, meanwhile, was playing in its sixth state tournament, all since 2014 (seven if you count Proctor/Hermantown/Marshall’s appearance in 2010). The Mirage downed Warroad 3-1 in last year’s state semifinals en route to an undefeated season.

After graduating 10 seniors, Proctor/Hermantown started the season off sluggish, going 0-2, including a 1-0 loss to Warroad, so it was remarkable the Mirage advanced this far.

But after a strong first period Saturday, with junior Nya Sieger burying a rebound to give the Mirage a 1-0 lead, a repeat was certainly looking possible.

Warroad vs Proctor-Hermantown_0442.jpg
Proctor/Hermantown's Alyssa Yokom (15) and Warroad’s Madison Lavergne (14) battle for the puck during the first period Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

But then something happened. The intermission.

“Obviously the momentum shifted there with that break,” Proctor/Hermantown coach Emma Stauber said. “If we could have just kept playing … coming out for that second period, they got that first goal, and it was just a downward spiral from there. We stopped moving our feet and weren’t moving the puck. It wasn’t working.”

Stauber admitted she saw ominous signs even before Hendrickson opened “the floodgates” with a goal at 3:02 in the second.


“We were happy and excited in the locker room that we were ahead,” Mirage captain Ember Kehtel said of the first intermission. “We felt we had the momentum, but then it shifted.”

Lavergne scored about three minutes later and Johnson tallied two power-play goals as a game many expected to come down to the wire ended up being a foregone conclusion with Warroad leading 4-1 going into the third.

Warroad vs Proctor-Hermantown_0817.jpg
Proctor/Hermantown players watch as Warroad celebrates their State Class A Tournament win during the third period at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

“I think the main thing was our energy, it just wasn’t there,” said captain Rylee Gilbertson, one of four Mirage seniors. “And on the bench, we just didn’t have as much positivity as we should have. We needed to respond but just couldn’t.”

Warroad showed in Friday’s semifinals what the Warriors are capable of as they scored four goals in a 2:08 span of the third period to pull away for a 5-0 victory over South St. Paul.

Kendra Nordick gave up an early goal but was solid in net with 18 saves for the top-seeded Warriors (26-3-1), while fellow senior goalie Abby Pajari capped off a stellar two-year run with 28 saves for the Mirage (21-8-1).

Both Hendrickson and Johnson finished with nearly 90 points apiece for a Warroad team that averaged nearly six goals a contest.

“Abby is a great goalie, but we were getting rebounds on her she couldn’t do too much about,” Johnson said.

Warroad vs Proctor-Hermantown_0413.jpg
Proctor/Hermantown's Jane Eckstrom (18) takes a shot at Warroad goalie Kendra Nordick (33) during the first period Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

While it was little consolation for the Mirage, it was an all-north finale, the first girls state title game pitting teams from the 218 area code comprising Sections 7 and 8.


At least one team from either of those sections has made the state title game five straight years. Warroad has come up on the short end of more than its share of state title games, so the Warriors were going to enjoy this one.

Warroad coach David Marvin introduced Hendrickson, Johnson and Nordick to open up the postgame presser.

“This is Kendra, this is Kate and this is Tals and we are the state champions,” Marvin said, followed by a couple shouts of "Woo-hoo!" from the players.

Warroad vs Proctor-Hermantown_0784.jpg
Warroad celebrates their win over against Proctor/Hermantown in the State Class A Tournament Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

  • Proctor/Hermantown’s Pajari, Sieger and defensemen Sophie Parendo and Katie Sandelin were named to the all-tournament team.

Pajari and Nordick are two of the five finalists for the senior goalie of the year award that will be announced Sunday at the annual Ms. Hockey Banquet.

Proctor/Hermantown 1-0-0—1

Warroad 0-4-2—6

First period — 1. PH, Nya Sieger (Jane Eckstrom, Reese Heitzman), 2:45.

Second period — 2. W, Talya Hendrickson (Abby Chamernick), 3:02; 3. W, Madison Lavergne (Abby Chamernick), 5:51; 4. W, Kate Johnson (Lila Lanctot), 9:17 (pp); 5. W, Johnson (Chamernick, Katelyn Courteau), 16:03 (pp).

Third period — 6. W, Lavergne (Katierie Sandy), :40; 7. W, Lanctot (Cahlilah Lindquist, Kaiya Sandy), 5:51.

Saves — Abby Pajari, PH, 28; Kendra Nordick, W, 18; Jordyn Werk, W, 0.

Jon Nowacki is a former reporter for the Duluth News Tribune
What to read next
Huber backstopped the Dodge County girls hockey team to the Section 1A championship game in 2023. The Byron sophomore has been invited to compete in the most prestigious development camp in the U.S.
McCoshen, a junior at Northfield, posted 43 points in 27 games this season for the Raiders to rank among the top 10 defensive scorers in Minnesota.
Get Local