Luverne punches ticket to state, River Lakes upsets Willmar in section tournament action
The Luverne Cardinals are headed to the state tournament for the fourth consecutive season among tons of other section tournament action.
Luverne is officially the first team in 2023 to punch it's ticket to the state tournament after a 4-0 win over New Ulm on Tuesday, Feb. 14.
Tons of other section championship games are on the way after 12 other semifinal matchups were played on Tuesday night. Find out who's in and who's out along with some of the star performances of the night.
First-seeded Luverne advances to the state tournament for the fourth consecutive season after posting a solid 4-0 win over second-seeded New Ulm.
Back to Back to Back to Back #CHAMPS ❌ #RollCardsRoll #LuverneProud #FourPeat pic.twitter.com/y01fYP07Eh— Cardinals Puck (@cardinalspuck) February 15, 2023
Ms. Hockey semifinalist Kamryn Van Batavia (Minnesota State) led the team with three points, while her younger sister Ellisyn netted two assists. Payton Behr and Izzy Steensma also recorded goals for the Cardinals and goaltender Mallory Von Tersch picked up a 15-save shutout.
Luverne is the first team to earn a state tournament berth in 2023. The Cardinals now have a 21-6 record after the win on Tuesday while New Ulm finishes its season 17-9-1.
High seeds remain supreme in Section 4A as top-ranked Simley and South St. Paul advance to the championship match.
First-seeded Simley earned a 4-0 victory over fourth-seeded Two Rivers/St. Paul. Mackaylan McGown led the team with two goals and an assist while netminder Sydney Ries posted a 16-save shutout.
Second-seeded South St. Paul also came up big in a 5-0 win against third-seeded Chisago Lakes. Senior Sarah Wincentsen scored a hat trick while Lily Pachl added the other two goals for the Packers. Senior Goalie of the Year semifinalist Delaney Norman earned a 23-save shutout.
The Packers (20-5-1) and the Spartans (21-4-1) will meet in the section title game on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m., likely at Veterans Memorial Community Center (high-seed host). Simley previously defeated South St. Paul, 3-1 and 4-1, earlier in the season, but the Packers won the section last year in 2022.
High seeds are also destined to meet in Section 5A, as top-ranked Holy Angels and Orono will meet in the title game after their wins on Tuesday.
First-seeded Holy Angels posted a 5-3 victory over fourth-seeded Minneapolis. It wasn't necessarily an easy win though, as Minneapolis senior Celia Midtbo netted a hat trick in the match. The Stars came out victorious after two goals a piece from Taylor Lesnar and Bella Lamere . Berit Lochle netted the other goal for AHA.
On the other side of the bracket, second-seeded Orono earned a 3-1 win over third-seeded Mound Westonka/SW Christian. Three different scorers found the back of the net for the Spartans. Each team's goalies posted strong numbers, with Whitehawk's netminder Ashlyn Roth stopping 37 of 40 shots on goal and Orono's Celia Dahl stopping 27 of 28. Dahl was recently announced as a Senior Goalie of the Year semifinalist.
Orono (19-3-4) and Holy Angels (20-5-1) will now meet for the Section 5A title on Friday, Feb. 17 at St. Louis Park Recreation Center. The one time the two teams met this season was back in December, where the Stars beat the Spartans, 2-1. Orono won the section last year in 2022.
Things got a little chaotic in Section 6A as the top seed came out with a big win while the second seed was upset.
First-seeded Fergus Falls blew past fifth-seeded Breckenridge/Wahpeton, 9-0. Maddie Hulter led the Otters with six points (three goals, three assists), while teammate Maggie Greenagel had a big four-point night as well. Goaltender Lexi Metcalf made five saves for the shutout.
Third-seeded River Lakes pulled off a big upset win over second-seeded Willmar, 2-1. Sophomore Sophia Hess netted both of the goals for the Stars while netminder Kaydence Roeske made 30-saves.
River Lakes (10-16-1) will now meet Fergus Falls (21-4-1) for the section title. The game will be played on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. in Alexandria. The Otters previously defeated the Stars, 3-2 and 5-1, earlier in the season.
High-seeds came up big in Section 2AA, with both Minnetonka and Holy Family putting up over five goals each.
First-seeded Minnetonka posted a 6-0 win over fourth-seeded Prior Lake. Multiple skaters earned points on the scoresheet but Josie Hemp (Minnesota) led the team with three points and teammate Kendra Distad (Minnesota) tacked on two goals for the Skippers. Layla Hemp made 11 saves for the shutout.
Second-seeded Holy Family netted a huge 8-1 victory over third-seeded Shakopee. Grayson Limke , Josie Linn , and Haley Box , each posted two goals a piece. Sedona Blair (New Hampshire), a semifinalist for Senior Goalie of the Year, made 12 saves in the win.
The Skippers (24-2) and the Fire (20-6-1) will play for the section title on Friday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. at Braemar Arena in Edina. Minnetonka previously defeated Holy Family, 3-1, in late-December. The Skippers won the section in 2022.
Both top-ranked teams in Section 4AA had dominant showings on Tuesday with wins by four- and five-goal margins.
First-seeded Hill-Murray posted a 5-0 shutout victory over fifth-seeded East Ridge. Each goal was scored by a different skater for the Pioneers, but Chloe Boreen posted a team-high of three-points in the game. Goaltender Grace Zhan (Dartmouth) made 15 saves for the shutout.
Second-seeded Gentry Academy showed their strength in a 5-1 win over third-seeded Stillwater. The Stars had five goals from five skaters and goaltender Zoe Laming kept things calm in net.
The Stars (23-2) and the Pioneers (23-3-1) will play for the section title on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood. The two teams have not yet played this season. Gentry Academy won the section last year in 2022.
Again, top seeds prevailed in Section 5AA, with both Maple Grove and Centennial/Spring Lake Park winning their semifinal matches.
Top-seeded Maple Grove earned a 4-3 victory over fourth-seeded Champlin Park/Coon Rapids. Captain Stella Retrum (Penn State) led the Crimson with three points while netminder Dani Strom (St. Thomas) made 33 saves.
Second-seeded Centennial/Spring Lake Park came up with a solid 5-2 win over third-seeded North Wright County. Grace Laager and Lauren O'Hara (Minnesota) both had three-point nights for the team and Kaitlin Groess posted 24 saves.
The top two seeds will battle for the section title on Friday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. at Roseville Ice Arena. Centennial/Spring Lake Park (20-6-1) previously lost to Maple Grove (19-6-1), 2-0 and 5-1, earlier this season. The Crimson won the section last year in 2022.