Top-seeded Gentry Academy, making its first state tournament appearance, had its hands full early on with unseeded River Lakes in the Class 1A quarterfinal Friday.
But two goals from sophomore Cara Sajevic led Gentry Academy to a 4-1 victory at Xcel Energy Center.
“River Lakes came out hard, and they made it a competitive game, but we did a good job of putting the puck in the net in the third period,” Gentry Academy coach Paige Jahnke said.
River Lakes (13-6-2), also making its state tournament debut, struck first late in the first period. Senior Hannah Zimmer came from behind the net and sent a pass through the crease to senior Myckenzie Cremers, who scored for a 1-0 lead.
“I think we did really good at coming out hard right away and giving them a little show,” River Lakes co-coach Alexis Klatt said. “I don’t think they expected us to come at them as hard as we did.”
The lead was short-lived. Gentry Academy sophomore Alex Hanrahan scored a second-effort, poke-check goal with a loose puck in the crease to tie the game with 1:07 left in the first period.
Sajevic made it a two-goal lead on a breakaway 31 seconds into the third period.
“It was obviously very important that we got that goal,” Sajevic said.
Sajevic leads Gentry Academy (18-2-0) with 25 goals this season, coming off hat tricks in the Stars’ last two section games.