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A nice bounce helped break a scoreless tie in the third period.

Brigette Miller's shot deflected off Hibbing/Chisholm's goaltender to give South St. Paul a 1-0 lead. The night's first goal at 2 minutes, 36 seconds of the third period would be enough for the Packers to advance to Friday's girls' hockey Class 1A state semifinals, though two more scores made the final 3-0 on Wednesday night at Xcel Energy Center.

"We picked it up, we worked harder, we made better passes and had more shots on net, so we had rebounds to get," said Riley Viner, who had a goal and two assists. "I knew we could do it. ... We didn't give up."

Nikki Karg's drop off to Viner set up the initial shot on the Packers' winning goal. It bounced off Bluejackets goalie Amanda Klennert's stick to within Miller's reach.

Through the first two periods the teams had exchanged quality shots, but were unable to finish. Each goalie often fell to the ice to preserve a scoreless game for 37 minutes. The Packers eventually got to Klennert, while Sydney Conley of South St. Paul got her ninth shutout.

Viner celebrated her team's second goal 8:12 into final period. Officials originally waved it off but changes their ruling after a five-minute review.

The Packers' victory avenged a 4-3 loss in overtime to Hibbing/Chisholm midway through the regular season.

"When we lost to Hibbing that's when the turnaround happened, and we started picking it up," said Abby Palmquist, who scored the Packers' final goal.

JASON GONZALEZ

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