Minnetonka's Kira von Steinbergs, left, and Elk River's Jonna Curtis fought for control of the puck in first period action. Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune
That blunt assessment from the other bench indeed summed up a thorough, one-sided 51 minutes of hockey in which Minnetonka goaltender Julie Friend needed only 11 saves for her third shutout in four playoff games this winter.
“It was a little hard only seeing a few shots per period but you learn to adapt,” said Friend, who has 12 shutouts this season. “You just have to be on guard the whole time.”
At the other end of the rink, Tori Herrmann didn’t have that problem. She saw three times as many shots as Friend, 12 coming off the stick of senior defenseman Rachel Ramsey. Seven of those were in the third period, most on booming slap shots.
“It was one of those games where I had opportunities,” Ramsey said. “Before every game I tell myself to shoot every chance you have, but make it mean something.” She did in this one.
Laura Bowman put the top-seed Skippers (27-1-1) up 1-0 off a rebound goal in a tight-checking first period before Ramsey took over. The Gophers recruit scored twice in the second before her peppering of Herrmann in the final period.
She also used her lanky size to limit the number of chances for the Elks (20-9).
“She brings good defense first,” Minnetonka coach Eric Johnson said. “Very tough to beat. And then offensively, she has vision like a quarterback and can make good passes up ice while [skating] like a running back. She has good skills.”
All of which were on display in the Skippers’ first ever state tournament game. “They’re going to be tough to beat,” Heasley said.
Rachel Ramsey, Minnetonka
She finished with two goals and put 10 others on net in a dominating effort for the Skippers’ senior defenseman.
Q Was this a game where you wantred to shoot every time the puck came near you?
A Well, yeah [laughs]. And I did that. It was one of those games where I had opportunities. Before every game I tell myself to shoot every chance you have but make it mean something. I lucked out on my second one; I just kind of threw it on net, I guess, and it hit [an opposing] player and went in. But tonight, I just had a lot of opportunities and I credit my team for really moving the puck, setting screens and getting it to the point.
Q Does seeing only 11 allowed shots on goal mean just as much to you as the two goals?
A Yes. It’s great being a defenseman, and when you can limit a team that has a player like Jonna Curtis [39 goals this season for the Elks] is a huge thing. Even of those 11 shots, many of them were good shots and I’m glad we kept that number down for Julie [Friend].
Q What does getting to state mean for you and the other seniors?
A We’re having a blast. Extending the season another week is amazing, playing here at Xcel – where none of us have played – is incredible. It’s really nice this year not sitting in the locker room after sections and crying for the fourth year in a row. I feel this year we’re ready to be here, where in the past maybe we weren’t.