Maple Grove hoisted the section trophy for the fifth time in program history.

Crimson scores six unanswered goals against Cougars 

Maple Grove came back from a 3-goal deficit to win 6-3, Edina makes their 10th straight state tournament appearance with a 5-4 win over top-seeded Benilde-St. Margaret’s and top-ranked Minnetonka skates past Holy Family to makes their 10th state tourney in program history and sixth in a row.

The brackets have been set and can be found HERE.

Section 5AA

#2 Maple Grove 6, #1 Centennial/Spring Lake Park 3

After trailing 3-0 midway through the second period, Maple Grove scored six unanswered goals to defeat Centennial/Spring Lake Park 6-3 Friday night to advance to the state tournament for the fifth time in program history.

Centennial scored the lone goal of the first period when 8th grader Mia Sutch got the Cougars on board with her 17th goal of the season. Freshman Grace Laager scored five minutes into the second period, her 20th of the season, for a 2-0 lead.

The Cougars weren’t done as Teagan Kulenkamp scored a short-handed goal, her 22nd, at the 8:16 mark for a 3-0 lead.

Things were looking bleak for the Crimson at that point until Maddie Elfstrand got them on board with a power play goal. Harper Wieneke also snuck in a goal before the end of the period to give the Crimson much-needed momentum heading into the third period trailing by a goal.

The third period was all Crimson. Grace Erickson scored on the power play 1:18 into the period to tie the game 3-3.

Both teams challenged each other’s goalies for the next 12 minutes when Maple Grove’s Kelsey Olson slipped one past Cougar goalie and Jori Jones Award finalist Kaitlin Groess for a 4-3 Crimson lead. Its as Olson’s 12th tally on the season and 41st point.

Less than a minute later Ms. Hockey Semifinalist Bella Shipley scored her 27th goal of the season for a 5-3 lead. She would add her 28th into an empty net to give the Crimson the win over the top-seeded Cougars.

The game featured two Jori Jones Award finalists in Dani Strom and Groess. Strom is headed to St. Thomas while Groess is destined for Bemidji State. Strom stopped 26 shots to earn the win. Groess stopped 39.

The Cougars finished their season 24-2-2. Maple Grove will enter the state tournament with a 20-7-1 record.

Grace Erickson scored the game-tying goal in the third period, the first of four goals in the period as the Crimson overcame a 3-0 deficit to win 6-3. LPH PHOTO BY MIKE THILL

Section 6AA

Edina’s Whitney Horton has put together a strong section tournament with seven goals and four assists in their three wins, including back-to-back hat tricks. Horton had three goals and two assists in their 5-4 win over Benilde-St. Margaret’s Friday to earn a berth to their 10th straight state tourney. LPH PHOTO BY JEFF ANDERSON

#2 Edina 5, #1 Benilde-St. Margaret’s 4

Not many players have had a better section tournament than Edina’s Whitney Horton. The junior forward had a hat trick and two assists to lead the Hornets past top-seeded Benilde-St. Margaret’s Friday to send Edina to their 10th straight state tournament.

Horton’s hat trick was her second in a row after scoring three against Wayzata in the Hornets’ 8-0 semifinal win. She also had a goal and an assist in the team’s quarterfinal win over Hopkins/St Louis Park, giving her 7 goals and 4 assists for the tourney.

Horton scored twice in the second period after Benilde’s Katie Zakrajsheck had given the Red Knights a 1-0 lead after one period of play. Edina’s Brenna Prellwitz scored for a 3-1 Edina lead with just over two minutes to play in the second.

The Red Knights took advantage of a late penalty to score a power play goal. Defenseman Ella Pasqua made it 3-2 with her sixth goal of the season.

The Red Knights tied it at 6:28 of the third period when Addie Morris netted her  12th goal on the year. But Edina’s Hannah Halverson scored on a power play with 4:32 left in the game for a 4-3 lead. Benilde-St. Margaret’s pulled their goal with two minutes to play and Horton finished off her second consecutive hat trick with an empty netter for a 5-3 lead.

But the Red Knights weren’t done. LuLu Ricinski score with 52 seconds left to make it 5-4. But that’s how it ended as Edina kept their state tournament streak alive.

The Hornets outshot the Red Knights 27-23. Benilde-St. Margaret’s finished their season with a 21-4-2 record. Edina enters the state tournament with a 21-6-1 record.

Edina defenseman Camille Dubuc had two assists in the Hornets’ win.

Section 2AA

Minnetonka heads to the X as the top-ranked team in the state. They will look to improve on their fourth place finish last season. LPH PHOTO BY JEFF ANDERSON

#1 Minnetonka 4, #3 Holy Family 0

The top-ranked Skippers lived up to their reputation as the top team in the State of Hockey with a 4-0 win over Holy family to advance to their 14th state tournament.

Holy Family hung with the top-rated Skippers through two periods of play, allowing just a first-period goal to Ms. Hockey Semifinalist Kendra Distad, her 19th of the season.

After firing 13 shots on goal in the first, the Skippers rifled 19 shots at Holy Family goalie Kayla Swartout but to no avail as the sophomore netminder kept the Fire in the game.

But the Skippers proved to be too much in the third by scoring three goals on their way to the 4-0 win. Ellie Zakrajsheck, Lauren Goldsworthy and Bella Finnegan all scored for the Skippers who improved to 25-2-1 on the season.

Last year the Skippers finished fourth, but will head into the state tourney this year as the favorites.

Holy Family finished their season 16-11-1.

Bella Finnegan had one of the Skippers four goals in their 4-0 win over Holy Family.