South St. Paul goaltender Delaney Norman deflects the puck off of her glove. The freshman posted her sixth shut out and 20 saves in a 2-0 win over St. Paul United on Thursday night. Photo by Cheryl A. Myers, SportsEngine
The only glitch for South St. Paul freshman goaltender Delaney Norman came during player introductions for the Class 1A, Section 4 final when she clipped her toe on the ice.
“Yeah, I had to get it over with right away,” Norman said. “After I took my fall before getting to the blue line, it calmed me down a lot.”
That calming effect propelled her to a 20-save, 2-0 shutout of St. Paul United on Thursday at Doug Woog Arena in South St. Paul. The No. 5-ranked Packers return to state for the first time since 2015.
“I was just hoping to get in front of the net for an opportunity,” Ogren said. “I’m not really sure where it went off of, and it ended up going in.”
Senior Gabby Madigan made it a two-goal cushion with about six minutes left in the game.
The Packers got a little puck luck on that first goal, Palmquist said.
“That’s kind of something we’ve needed the past couple years,” he said. “This group has suffered some tough heartbreak these last two years.”
Five of the past six section championships have come down to United (13-14-1) and the Packers (19-7-1), and three of the last five had been one-goal games with two ending in overtime.
South St. Paul freshman Gabby Ogren (5) watches a deflected puck go over the net and St. Paul United goaltender Allison Audette. Ogren would deflect another shot later in her shift for the Packers first goal. Photo by Cheryl A. Myers, SportsEngine
Five of the past six Class 1A, Section 4 championships have come down to St. Paul United and South St. Paul. For the first time since 2015, South St. Paul came out on top.
The No. 5-ranked Packers defeated United 2-0 Thursday at Doug Woog Arena in South St. Paul.
The Packers took a 1-0 lead late in the second period on an Ella Reynolds shot that deflected into the net in front by freshman Gabby Ogren. Then senior Gabby Madigan added another tally in the third period off a rebound.
Freshman goaltender Delaney Norman earned her sixth shutout of the season with 20 saves.
These two teams often have good battles. Three of those last five section finals between these two teams have been one-goal games, with two needing overtime. They also skated to a 3-3 tie just before Christmas this season.
The Packers (19-7-1) will head to the state tournament for the 15th time overall in search of their fifth state championship and first since 2006.
United (13-14-1) saw a five-game winning streak ended with the loss to end its season. It has reached the state tournament in five of the past seven seasons.
Check back later for more on the game.