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Emily Pohl helped lead the Pioneers to a 4-0 win over rival Stillwater. PHOTO BY JEFF ANDERSON/LET’S PLAY HOCKEY

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Crookston upsets Warroad in Section 8A

There were some section implications on the line Tuesday night in a few contests around the state of hockey. Section games are important even at this time of year because they could have a bearing on seeding come February. The difference between the No. 2 seed and No. 3 seed can be a big difference in that first round opponent.

In Stillwater, the No. 8-ranked Ponies hosted No. 2 Hill-Murray. Chances are these two teams will be battling it out in Section 4AA come mid-February to see who makes the trip down to the X. Last season it was Gentry Academy, but by all indications, this season looks like the Pioneers are the early favorites as they snuck out of Stillwater with a 4-0 win to remain unbeaten at 7-0. Stillwater dropped to 4-3.

Jaycee Chatleain had two goals and an assist for the Pioneers and Grace Zhan stopped all 20 shots she faced to earn the shutout.

Over in Class A’s Section 8, Crookston, who entered the season as a team who could contend against Warroad for a section title, defeated the Warriors 2-0 in Crookston. Kambelle Freije stopped all 33 shots she faced and Taylor Field and Brynley Coleman each scored to lift the Pirates to the win. They improved to 4-2-1 while Warroad dropped to 5-2.

Also in Class A, top-ranked Orono lost a close battle with No. 9AA Northfield 3-2. This game featured two of the better players in the state this year in Northfield’s Ayla Puppe and Orono’s Zoe Lopez. Both players scored second-period goals, but it was Northfield who held on throughout a scoreless third period for a 3-2 win. Emerson Garlie had a goal and an assist for Northfield and Anna Rausch also scored for Orono. Northfield’s Macy Mueller stopped 22 shots and Orono’s Vivienne Anderson stopped 25.

In some other big match ups. Benilde-St. Margaret’s continued to prove they are a team to be reckoned with. The No. 5 Red Knights took on No. 3 Edina and scored four unanswered goals in a 5-2 win. Ellie Stewart scored twice in the third period and Ella Pasqua also scored to lead the Red Knights, who improved to 6-1-0 with their only loss coming to No. 4 Andover.

Andover, meanwhile, skated to a 3-3 tie with No. 13AA Centennial/Spring Lake Park. Noelle Hemr scored twice for Centennial/SLP and Kaitlin Groess had 38 saves as the Huskies outshot the Cougars 41-15. Hanna Olson had a goal and an assist for the Huskies, who are now 3-1-2. Centennial/SLP improved to 5-1-2.

No. 12AA Champlin Park/Coon Rapids traveled to Maple Grove to take on the 6th-ranked Crimson. In a close battle Maple Grove got an early lead and never relinquished it in a 5-3 victory. Maple Grove outshot Champlin 33-29 and got a goal and three assists from Grace Erickson and a two goals and an assist from Bella Shipley. Sydney Burnevik had a goal and an assist for Champlin Park/Coon Rapids.

No. 16AA Eden Prairie continued their winning ways with a 5-2 win over Prior Lake behind a 4-point night from senior Gianna Kowalkoski. Kowalkoski is committed to play college hockey at St. Olaf. The Eagles also got three assists from Ella Konrad and two helpers from Genevieve Streed. Prior Lake got goals from Abby Anthony and Kallie Disrud.

No. 8A Mound Westonka/Southwest Christian took on AA squad Wayzata and came away with a 3-1 win thanks to goals by Sage Finck, Elizabeth Callahan and Claire Bolen to improve to 4-3-1. They will take on No. 3 Warroad Friday.

No. 14A Delano/Rockford upended No. 10A Simley 4-2 and outshot them 27-18. Third-period goals by Mckenzie Perry and Emma Treptau were the difference.

No. 16A Willmar staved off a late comeback by Luverne to hold on for their sixth win of the season to improve to 6-2-1. Lauren Eilers had two goals and an assists and Avery Quinn added two assists to help lead the Cardinal offense.

Mankato East improved to 5-2 and are a team to watch in Section 1AA as they have allowed just nine goals in seven games thus far. On Tuesday night they beat New Prague 7-1 and showed their great depth with seven different skaters lighting the lamp. Sydney Wang, Ava Tibodeau, Alexis Erickson, Brielle Newton, Kira Prange, Ella Fugazzi, and Ella Hudspith all scored for the Cougars. Junior netminder Jordan Thomas has been stellar in goal with a 1.29 goals against average and a .919 save percentage. Keep an eye Section 1AA this year as there will be four teams battling for the section title. Mankato East, Farmington, Lakeville South and Northfield all have good squads this season.

Grand Rapids/Greenway continued their winning ways with a 6-0 win over Rock Ridge and junior Minnesota State commit Mercury Bischoff continued her torrid scoring pace with four more goals to give her 15 on the season.

Mercury Bischoff scored four goals for Grand Rapids/Greenway in their 6-0 win. The junior Minnesota State commit has 15 goals on the season. PHOTO BY BRYAN ZOLLMAN, LET’S PLAY HOCKEY

In other scores around the state, Lexi Smothers scored four goals and added two assists as Chisago Lakes put up a dozen on Visitation in a 12-0 win.

Gracyn Knowles scored the OT winner as Blaine rallied to beat Rogers 3-2.

Maverick Margraf stopped 35 shots to earn a shutout for Chaska/Chanhassen who got two goals from Quinlyn Borner, both assisted by Erika Mindt in a 2-0 win.

Detroit Lakes edged Morris/Benson 5-4 on a late goal by Aurora Jabas, her second of the game. Karlie Bruns had a hat trick for Morris/Benson giving her 15 goals on the season.

North Wright County defeated Hopkins/Park 5-0 behind two goals from Adrienne Hansen and a shutout by Katie Lemke.

Hutchinson upset New Ulm in overtime, Minneapolis beat Waconia and Moose Lake Area got 26 saves from Molly Hartl in a 3-0 win over St. Paul/Two Rivers. Brainerd/Little Falls beat No. 8A River Lakes 2-0, and Mounds View/Irondale beat No. 19AA Forest Lake on an overtime goal by Lauren Ballinger. Ballinger scored both goals for Mounds View/Irondale and eclipsed 100 points for her career.

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