Roseville girls’ hockey coach Vic Brodt can do without preseason goal-setting.
He prefers waiting about four or five games before asking players to view their potential.
When they spoke in early December of winning a state title, Brodt listened and nodded.
“It’s not very often you have a team that you feel can win the whole thing,” Brodt said. “It’s similar to my team in 2010.”
Those Raiders beat Edina for a state title. They topped the Hornets again in Friday’s Class 2A semifinal game at the Xcel Energy Center, a 4-1 victory sending them to Saturday’s championship game.
The No. 2 seed Raiders (26-2-2) scored three goals within a two minute, 11 second span of the second and third periods to stun the Hornets.
Sarah Knowlton scored on the power play with one minute remaining in the second period, knocking in a rebound of Lee Stecklein’s backhand shot.
The Raiders weren’t finished. Kate Flug kept up her penchant for clutch goals, firing a puck over Hornets’ goalie Maddie Dahl with 22 seconds remaining in the period.
“It was deflating to not get out because we had killed their 5-on-3,” Edina coach Laura Slominski said. “Then they score another one and it’s a huge momentum switch.”
No. 3 seed Edina (19-5-6) hoped to reach the state title game for the third consecutive season. But Roseville’s Jordan Capeti killed the Hornets’ buzz early in the third period.
Brodt said Capeti boasts one of the hardest shots on the team. But no one expected her slapshot from about 95 feet away to go in. Dahl inadvertently deflected the puck under the crossbar one minute and 11 seconds into the final period.
“It was late in the shift, we were tired and needed to get it deep,” said Capeti, who scored just once this season before Friday’s game. “I wanted to jump on every one of my players. Unbelievable.”
Goaltender Erika Allen made 18 saves as the Raiders ran their undefeated streak to 16 games.
The junior forward scored a back-breaker of a goal in the waning moments of the second period for Roseville. The goal electrified the Raiders and proved to be the game-winner when it was all said and done. Flug also tallied an empty-netter to seal the game in the third period. The two goals give her a total of 70 points on the season (48 goals, 22 assists).
Allen stopped 18 shots for the Raiders en-route to holding the powerful Hornets to just one goal. Edina averaged 3.35 goals per game during the regular season. Allen is having an absolutely astonishing season, sporting a 95.7 save percentage and only allowing 0.89 goals per game. Hot goaltenders can win championships, and Allen is a perfect candidate to lead the Raiders.
The junior forward logged tons of ice time and netted the first goal of the game. Knowlten’s goal sparked the Roseville run that broke open a scoreless game. Knowlten's two points brings her season total to 13 (7 goals, 6 assists).
-- Walker Orenstein, MN Girls Hockey Hub staff