Minnetonka goalie Sydney Rossman made a save in the first period of the Skippers' 4-0 victory over Irondale Thursday at Xcel Energy Center. CARLOS GONZALEZ firstname.lastname@example.org
Minnetonka prominently displayed the quality it believes will produce a third consecutive Class 2A girls' hockey championship.
A staunch defense advanced the top-seeded Skippers to Friday's semifinals and gave goaltender Sydney Rossman the shutout and plenty of rest in Thursday night's 4-0 quarterfinal victory over Irondale.
The Skippers scored three of their four goals in the first period, then allowed their defense to hold that lead against the unseeded Knights. Hannah Behounek, Diana Draayer and Maggie Bazany scored in the opening period.
"We went into our game focusing on our game plan, not worrying about who we were playing, because anyone can beat anyone on any given day," Minnetonka's Amy Petersen said after collecting a second-period goal and a pair of assists.
Irondale slowed Minnetonka's offense in the second period. Goaltender Anna Pate had 22 stops, highlighted by several impressive glove saves. The stops briefly frustrated Minnetonka, but it continued to put pressure on Irondale's sophomore goaltender.
Her efforts held for 14 minutes of the second period until Petersen finally found a hole. The senior forward floated into the middle without resistance and flung in Minnetonka's final goal.
Irondale's second-period power play failed to give the Knights much of an advantage. Sena Hanson got a single shot off during the two-minute span, while Minnetonka got off three quality shots.
"The first period was not our period," Pate said, "but we came back and stuck with it."
The only thing missing for Irondale, though, was offense.