Rivalry games often bring out the best in players.
In Section 5AA, there might not be a better one than No. 3 seed Mounds View and No. 2 seed Irondale and on Tuesday night, the Mustangs leading scorer shined the brightest.
Sophomore Sydney Brodt did it all for Mounds View in its 2-1 victory against the Knights in the Section 5AA semifinal on Tuesday night at Roseville Arena.
She assisted on Bailey Thompson's goal in the first period, then scored a beauty in the second, which ended up being the game-winner.
Brodt picked up a loose puck in the corner, pushed the accelerator to get to the slot and ripped a wrist shot in the upper left corner and sent a packed house into a frenzy.
"I came out of the corner with speed and when I got to the slot I was going to pick a corner," she said.
A savvy, veteran type move from a sophomore who now has 22 goals on the season to lead the Mustangs.
Brodt forced Irondale goalie Anna Pate to move to her left and fired the shot against the grain into the vacated corner.
"I saw her moving a bit and saw the open corner and got it to go in," Brodt said.
Her two points was just a tidbit of what she did for the Mustangs.
A relentless penalty killer, Brodt pressured the Knights while they were on the power play and eventually got a shorthanded breakaway chance in the third and a chance to put a dagger in the hearts of Irondale.
She made a quick move to her backhand, but lost control as the puck slid innocently to the corner.
"She wanted nothing more than to bury that puck," Mustangs coach Aaron Moberg said.
"Just lost it at the last second," Brodt said.
If she wasn't creating havoc on offense, she was frustrating for the Knights on defense. Even a shot that knocked the stick out of her hands couldn't keep Brodt from making a big-time play.
Late in the third, with no stick after blocking a shot with it, she had there wherewithal to abandon it and dive to swat the puck out of the zone and get a line change.
"Syd has been so huge for us all year," Moberg said. "She is our leading goal scorer. She has made big-time plays like tonight, huge goal.
"She is the epitome of what we are. She's a Mustang hockey player. Works at both ends of the ice, she does the little things."
And doing the little things has gotten the Mustangs back in the Section 5AA finals.
Mounds View will play No. 1 seed Blaine on Friday at Roseville Arena.