Proctor/Hermantown forward Hannah Graves scored on Orono goaltender Celia Dahl in the third period, starting a surge. Photos by RENÉE JONES SCHNEIDER, Star Tribune
Proctor/Hermantown found itself down by a goal for most of Friday’s Class 1A semifinal against Orono. Coach Emma Stauber knew what to do.
“We just tried to get these girls to continue to believe in the process and believe in themselves,” Stauber said.
The Mirage rallied for four third-period goals, winning 4-1 and advancing to the championship game of the Class 1A girls' hockey state tournament in Xcel Energy Center.
Second-seeded Orono grabbed a 1-0 lead 1 minute, 26 seconds into the game on Mae Grandy’s power-play goal.
In the third period, the third-seeded Mirage tied the game about a minute in. Rylee Gilbertson could see Katie Sandelin’s shot wasn’t going to make it to the net, so she grabbed the puck.
“I know Hannah [Graves] is always back door, because she’s always calling for it,” Gilbertson said. “It happened earlier in the game, but I couldn’t get it over to her. So I knew she was there. I just passed it right behind my back and hoped it got through, and then I saw the puck in the back of the net.”
The Mirage took the lead a few minutes later on a Reese Heitzman goal. Jane Eckstrom made it a two-goal lead before Heitzman added an empty-netter.
“I think when a team finally gets one when it’s a 1-0 game, the other team gets a lot of energy, and our bench kind of fell down a little bit,” Orono coach Sean Fish said.