Hill-Murray's Leah Patrick admits she wasn't totally comfortable going into Monday's game against Lakeville North. Tuesday against Mounds View was a completely different story.
Patrick made 14 saves en route to a shutout as Hill-Murray defeated the Mustangs 3-0 at Wakota Arena in South St. Paul to advance to the Kaposia Classic championship game.
“Yesterday I felt kind of nervous about my game,” Patrick admitted. “But today I came back strong. We had already won against them, so I was feeling very confident.”
It was evident early on that Patrick was comfortable as she was able to easily glide across the crease to make saves. The only time Patrick said she felt under pressure was during a first-period Mounds View power play.
“Definitely during their power play," she said. "They have a really good (unit). That was probably the most worried I was in the game.”
Hill-Murray coach Bill Schafhauser praised Patrick's demeanor throughout the game.
“She's playing excellent," he said. "She's a very calm kid.”
The Pioneer's first goal came early in the first as Mekenzie Steffen snuck a shot past goaltender Mary Dingman just 4:30 into the game. Hill-Murray kept the pressure on Dingman, but the one goal was all it could muster until the last two minutes of the game.
Coach Schafhauser was happy with his goaltender, but he also praised Dingman.
“Their goalie played phenomenal," Schafhauser said. "She controlled the rebounds really well.”
The second period was very close as both teams traded chances. Mounds View had the lone power play that period, but the Mustangs were unable to sneak anything past Patrick. Hill-Murray was finally able to get some insurance on a goal by Jac Kaasa with just 1:57 remaining. Then, with Dingman pulled, Sarah Brobrowski scored the third and final goal with an empty net. Dingman finished the game with 24 saves.
-- Benjamin Bakker