Ninety seconds into the second period Wednesday, a South St. Paul assistant coach winced in pain after his right hand was struck by an errant puck.
What better cure for the sting than goals. Lots and lots of goals.
Senior defenseman Sam LaShomb did her part, and teammates followed suit in a 12-1 Packers rout over New Ulm in the opening round of the Class 1A girls’ hockey tournament at Xcel Energy Center.
LaShomb scored four times for a No. 3-seed South St. Paul team (21-7) that set the tone with five first-period goals and finished with a 40-6 shots on goal advantage.
“The energy was contagious on the bench,” said coach Dave Palmquist, who used both goaltenders and saw 11 different players record at least one point. “It just makes everybody feel good and a part of this tournament. We had a lot of nice plays out there, a lot of plays I expected the girls to make in this tournament.”
Palmquist got that, especially to open the first and second periods with early goals in each, including a tally 17 into the second by LaShomb.
Emily Reibert and Emily Englemeier each scored twice for South St. Paul.
“We wanted to come out hard and expected to come out hard,” she said. “I think we can play a little bit better [in the semifinals], but we started off the tournament good.”
For a fourth straight year, that’s not the case for New Ulm. The Eagles (13-14-1) have lost in the state quarterfinals by a combined score of 43-2.
Brittany Denn scored New Ulm’s lone goal 37 seconds into the third period. It was her team’s only shot in the last 17 minutes.
“Hopefully this sophomore and eighth-grade group that we have quite a big number of stick with it,” coach Angela Zeig said, “And have a chance to be on the winning side of it.”
Sam LaShomb, South Saint Paul- LaShomb dominated for the Packers in the offensive zone scoring 4 goals on 7 shots.
Brigette Miller, South Saint Paul- Miller had great vision all afternoon contributing to her 1 goal and 3 assists performance.
Emily Reibert, South Saint Paul- Emily Reibert had an outstanding performance in the face-off circle winning 12 of 15 face-offs, also tallied 2 goals and an assist for the Packers
Ryan Brodd, MN Girls Hockey Hub Staff