Warroad claims Section 8A title over Crookston with unfinished business ahead at state tournament
Two goals from Talya Hendrickson and a 12-save shutout for Kendra Nordick help give the Warriors their seventh consecutive section crown.
EAST GRAND FORKS – “We’re gonna get it done this year. This is our year,” Warroad captain Madison Lavergne said after claiming the program’s seventh straight Section 8A title and state tournament berth.
The No. 1 Warriors’ 7-0 win over Crookston on Thursday night took a little extra effort but eventually the dominating team that won 23 games this year took over, with leading scorer Talya Hendrickson scoring two goals including their last goal of the tournament on a shorthanded breakaway in the third.
“We play a tough schedule and we do it for a reason but you never know,” Warroad head coach David Marvin said. “You get into these big games come tournament time and kids clench the stick a little tighter sometimes.”
A 8A Region title for Warroad #mshsl #mnpreps pic.twitter.com/JJOsJ6duj0— Maxwell Marko (@maxwellmarko) February 18, 2022
Shots at the end of the first period were 13-2 in favor of Warroad, which held plenty of time on the attack but could not connect on the dangerous looks from the slot the Warriors were aiming for. One of the few times this year they were not able to score in the opening period.
Crookston, which took out East Grand Forks in the semifinals, clogged up shooting lanes in the first half of the game and made it difficult to get any pucks through to goalie Kailee Magsam.
“I didn’t think we got frustrated though, which was the key, I thought. We had a pretty solid period and stuck with our game and didn't take any poor penalties. Then in the second period, we cashed in,” Marvin said.
At the other end of the rink, Warroad goalie Kendra Nordick faced a limited amount of action but knew the added pressure of potentially letting the first goal of the game slip by her.
“Of course there’s an ‘if’ but I have faith in my team. I’ve built it over the years since I’ve been here. I just knew they would get one goal and then it would get rolling,” she said.
Nordick stopped all 12 shots she faced for her ninth shutout victory of the year.
On the 21st Warriors' shot of the night, it took a third chance opportunity with a scrum ensuing to finally get one past Magsam. Laura Lanctot deposited a rebound, and in doing so broke the seal for a wave of goal scoring in the second period.
The usual suspects all had their chance at adding on to the lead as Kate Johnson, Abbey Reule, Hendrickson and Lavergne all scored on clean looks off the rush. The pace never changed for Warroad, but the Warriors had finally broken the Pirates down.
Lavergne even added an exclamation point to her marker by pulling off a nifty forehand-backhand move on her condensed breakaway.
“I was just thinking this was my time right now. I’ve got to prove it to my teammates. I’m a captain now, this is what I’ve got to do,” said Lavergne.
For the Warriors, this makes seven straight victories which is the second-longest streak they have put together this year. Now they look to extend their streak even further into the Minnesota state tournament, taking in a deep roster looking to take home a Class A championship since going back-to-back in 2010 and 2011.
“We have a deep team. We work hard and we’re unselfish. We ask them to compete and they buy in. Since I’ve been here we’ve had great leaders and they pass that on to the next set of leaders,” said Marvin. “We’ve been right there since 2011 and have not been able to get it done, so we have some unfinished business to take care of.”
The Minnesota state girls hockey tournament will begin Feb. 23 at Xcel Energy Center, with teams being seeded Feb. 19.
Second period – 1-0 WHS: Lila Lanctot (Madison Lavergne, Katierie Sandy), 2-0 WHS: Kate Johnson, 3-0 WHS: Lavergne (Kaiya Sandy), 4-0 WHS: Talya Hendrickson (Abbey Reule), 5-0 WHS: Reule (Sandy)
Third period – 6-0 WHS: Emily Lorenson (Sophie Johnson), 7-0 WHS: Hendrickson SH
Goalie saves – WHS: Kendra Nordick 12 saves, CHS: Kailee Magsam 32 saves