Sara Kaiser enjoyed her championship moment after scoring the winning goal Saturday. Photos by ALEX KORMANN, Star Tribune
Saturday’s championship game wasn’t the first time Andover senior Sara Kaiser scored the game-winner against Minnetonka in a tournament this season. She also scored the deciding goal in a 4-3 Andover victory on Dec. 29 in the Walser Girls’ Hockey Invitational holiday tournament.
Andover was down a goal early in the third period but found a way tie the game and score the winning goal. It was a similar story in the title game a couple of months later, with Andover scoring two third-period goals for the tie and the win Saturday in the Class 2A girls’ hockey final at Xcel Energy Center.
In December, Kaiser described that goal as a “lucky opportunity to go in and score.” The same could be said for her play in the third period Saturday, when she got in alone and scored with 1:40 left on the clock.
“That one was exciting, too, because it was a close game,” Kaiser said. “Just scoring the winning goal was really amazing. Just to be in the moment.”
While the Andover bench and fans celebrated the goal, the play was reviewed to check for offsides.
“I thought I was on side, but then when they started to review, I got nervous that I wasn’t,” Kaiser said. “But then I said, ‘Wait, I was way behind the play.’ Then I had confidence in myself.”
More moves coming
Kate Johnson helped bring her Warroad teammates a Class 1A state title by leading the Warriors with 48 goals, including two in the championship game.
Now Johnson, a junior forward, is contributing a big assist. An avid wake surfer when vacationing in Lake Havasu in Arizona, Johnson is “taking some of my friends with so that we can all have a good start to summer.”
Johnson’s family purchased a surfing boat about three years ago. She honed her skills and balance to cut in and out of the wake in the same manner she weaves past opposing defenders.
“I started liking it quite a bit,” she said, adding her teammates “really want to come try it.”
Call it a parting gift for Proctor/Hermantown coach Emma Stauber. Her defending champion Mirage fell short in the first Class 1A final contested between two teams from northern Minnesota.
“It’s always nice to know that it’s going to come back up north,” said Stauber, a former Mirage player. “We’re always trying to gain some respect in the state. Hopefully, people can see we can play hockey, too.”
Herb Brooks Awards
Northfield senior goaltender Maggie Malecha won the Herb Brooks Award in Class 2A, and Iyla Ryskamp of Orono was named the winner of the Herb Brooks Award in Class 1A. The award is bestowed on players who best represent the legendary hockey coach’s values and character.
Orono, Edina skate to third
Ryskamp, a Star Tribune All-Metro second-team selection, scored two goals to propel Orono past South St. Paul 5-2 in the Class 1A third-place game. Fellow second-team pick Lilie Ramirez scored once for the Packers.
In Class 2A, Edina goaltender Uma Corniea posted her second shutout of the tournament, and No. 12 this season, as the Hornets blanked Gentry Academy 3-0. She made 27 saves and also assisted on Lauren Zawoyski’s third-period goal.
Stars, Blaze win consolation
A power-play goal from Paige Blattner and an empty-netter by Kianna Roeske, backed by a 22-save performance from Kaydence Roeske, added up to a 2-0 victory against Mankato East in the Class 1A consolation final. Cougars goalie Annaliese Radar hung tough, stopping 48 of 50 River Lakes shots.
In Class 2A, Burnsville’s sisters Samantha and Addison Bowlby each scored in a 2-1 victory over Maple Grove. Stella Retrum tallied the Crimson goal.
Ms. Hockey banquet
Let’s Play Hockey bestows its Ms. Hockey and Senior Goalie of the Year awards Sunday at Inwood Oaks in Oakdale. The keynote speaker will be Olympic gold medalist Karen Bye-Dietz.
Class 2A all-tournament team
Jenessa Gazdik, Gentry Academy; Sami Bowlby, Burnsville; Jane Kuehl, Edina; Ava Lindsay, Minnetonka; Grace Sadura, Minnetonka; Olivia LaRoche, Minnetonka; Sophia Johnson, Minnetonka; Mackenzie Jones, Andover; Cailin Mumm, Andover; Isa Goettl, Andover; Ella Boerger, Andover; Courtney Stagman, Andover.
Class 1A all-tournament team
Abby Chamernick, Warroad; Katy Comstock, Warroad; Talya Hendrickson, Warroad; Kate Johnson, Warroad; Lila Lanctot, Warroad; Kendra Nordick, Warroad; Sophie Parendo, Proctor/Hermantown; Iyla Ryskamp, Orono; Kianna Roeske, River Lakes; Katie Sandelin, Proctor/Hermantown; Nya Sieger, Proctor/Hermantown; Abby Pajari, Proctor/Hermantown.