By: Jackson Boline

Audrey Garton and the top-seed Academy of Holy Angels go flying into the semifinals after a win over Luverne. PHOTO BY TIM KOLEHMAINEN/BREAKDOWN SPORTS

Bella LaMere scores a third-period natural hat trick as the Academy of Holy Angels takes down Luverne

No. 1 Seed Academy of Holy Angels 6, Luverne 1

The top-seeded Academy of Holy Angels (21-3-3) faced off with Luverne (17-10-0) in the Quarterfinal round of the State Tournament. 

Holy Angels came into the tournament with high expectations and a mission to make a deep run for a title. In the first period of the quarterfinal game, the Stars came out firing, outshooting Luverne early but they couldn’t get it by Cardinals Emma Saarloos early. Holy Angels finally broke through with two goals late in the opening frame. Aubrey Garton struck twice, scoring her 19th and 20th goals of the season. The Minnesota State-Mankato commit now has a total of 33 points through 23 games. 

Bella LaMere scored a third-period natural hat trick in the Stars’ win. PHOTO BY TIM KOLEHMAINEN/BREAKDOWN SPORTS

The Stars led just 2-0 after the first period but outshot the Cardinals 13-3. The Stars’ impeccable defense gave Luverne little to nothing to work with offensively, something they’ve done all season. 

The second was a carbon copy of the first two Quarter Final games today, the top seed held a two-goal lead in the second and the opposing goalie held strong. In this contest, Saarloos kept the Cardinals in the game, holding Holy Angels to no goals in the middle frame. Shots were 27-5 in favor of the Stars, as Saarloos was doing everything she could to give the Cardinals a chance. 

The third period was where Holy Angels took over. At the 6:43 mark of the period, Calli Holmes scored her third of the season to put the Stars up 3-0. 

The Academy of Holy Angels pulled away with another goal, this time from Bella LaMere, who would go on and score two more for a state tournament hat trick. LaMere now has 25 goals on the season. Shots favored Holy Angels a lopsided 38-7, Saarloos stopped 32 of 38 for the Cardinals. Eva Bentley who got the start for the Stars stopped 6 of 7 in net. 

Eva Bentley wasn’t too busy but stopped 6 shots for the Academy of Holy Angels. PHOTO BY TIM KOLEHMAINEN/BREAKDOWN SPORTS

Avery Mullin and Emilie Anderson both had two assists. Harper Poehling, Masyn Mullin, Makayla Clow, Taylor Lesner, and Riley Iverson all had one helper for Holy Angels. 

Holy Angels improved to 23-3-3 and now have to wait for the winner of No. 4 Seed Warroad and No. 5 Seed Proctor/Hermantown. The Semifinal round game for the Stars is set for Friday at 1:00 p.m.