Hill-Murray senior Taylor Wemple considers herself a solid defenseman at her best when thwarting opposing forwards.
One metro-area coach joked Wemple’s stick seems 20 feet long at times. Reach and defensive awareness have Wemple headed to North Dakota.
But there’s more to her game, as Eastview learned in a 4-1 loss in the Class 2A quarterfinal game at Xcel Energy Center.
“I think I have a nice shot,” said Wemple, who used it to score twice on Thursday.
No. 3 seed Hill-Murray (24-4-1) took a 1-0 lead on a Wemple shot accidently tipped in by an Eastview player. The Lightning drew even on a Natalie Snodgrass power-play goal at 10:06 of the opening period. Then Wemple sent a puck through clean for a 2-1 lead for the Pioneers at first intermission.
“I’m not a huge goal scorer,” Wemple said. “Usually when I shoot the puck, I just kind of throw it on the net and hope one of the forwards can hit it.”
Wemple’s eighth and ninth goals this season, coupled with her efforts to slow the dangerous Snodgrass, helped Hill-Murray advance.
An additional Eastview (16-11-2) miscue resulted in an own goal in the second period. A Lightning player inadvertently swept the puck into the net.
“I tell the kids things like that happen,” Eastview coach Herb Harvey said. “It’s tough for the kid but it’s not the biggest mistake of her life.”
The goal was credited Hill-Murray’s Nina Steigauf. The Pioneers’ Morgan Helgeson added a goal for a 4-1 lead after two periods. Goaltender Ava Bailey stopped 17 of 18 Eastview shots.
DAVID LA VAQUE
Hill-Murray’s skill, aided by Eastview miscues that led to own-goals, resulted in a 4-1 victory for the Pioneers in the second Class 2A quarterfinal game Thursday at Xcel Energy Center.
No. 3 seed Hill-Murray (24-4-1) took a 1-0 lead on a goal from Taylor Wemple that an Eastview player accidently tipped past her goalie. But the Lightning drew even on a Natalie Snodgrass power-play goal at 10:06 of the opening period.
Wemple scored again for a 2-1 lead at first intermission.
An Eastview (16-11-2) own goal in the second period was credited to Hill-Murray’s Nina Steigauf. The Pioneers’ Morgan Helgeson added a goal for a 4-1 lead after two periods.
Check back later for more on the game,