Burnsville's Paige Skaja scored the winning goal against East Ridge in double overtime on Saturday. Photo by Katherine Matthews
Burnsville's Paige Skaja ended Saturday's game against East Ridge with a goal in double overtime. Photo by Katherine Matthews
After two overtimes, 14 penalties and just two goals in regulation Burnsville defeated East Ridge 2-1 on Saturday in a Section 3AA semifinal.
Don’t let the lack of goals fool you. This game was loaded with excitement.
Burnsville coach Tracy Cassano described it like this, “A crazy game, with all the penalties at the end, and double overtime and the game-winning goal”.
With 5:46 left in the second overtime period, Burnsville senior captain Paige Skaja coralled a loose puck near mid-ice and raced past the Raptors defense, beating East Ridge goaltender Erin Cheatham to spark a wild victory celebration.
Cassano said that on the game-ending shift the Blaze “got caught” with the same line on the ice for more than two minutes, “They were putting a lot of pressure on us,” she said.
As the first overtime was expiring, East Ridge threw a shot on net. The puck did wind up in the back of the net and was originally ruled a goal, although it appeared to have gone in after time expired.
While the East Ridge players celebrated what seemed to be a Raptors victory, the officials discussed the play amongst themselves. After a few minutes of deliberation the goal was waved off and the game headed to a second overtime.
Asked what his message to his team in the locker room was after the waved off goal, East Ridge coach Wes Walz answered, “Nothing. Let’s beat them twice.”
The second overtime was much like the first, with the teams trading off scoring chances and penalties, but neither side could find the back of the net.
The two teams traded goals early, with Burnsville scoring in the first period and East Ridge answering early in the second. Going into the third period tied at one, it looked like the final session would be interesting.
Nobody expected the flurry of events that would ensue.
There were three penalties in the final minute of the third period, all coming within a 15-second span.
The win sends Burnsville to the Section 3AA final, where it will take on the Eastview.