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Apple Valley girls' goalie sheds 'happy tears' after 111 saves in losing effort

By Cody Stavenhagen, Star Tribune, 02/04/16, 2:11PM CST


The Eagles lost in a six-overtime game — the longest in Minnesota girls' hockey history — in which Taylor DeForrest held strong until East Ridge's 114th shot of the night.

The scene at the end of Wednesday's six-overtime game.

Shot after shot came her way, but Apple Valley junior goaltender Taylor DeForrest kept stopping the East Ridge attack. From the second period onward Wednesday night, when her team trailed 2-0 in a Class 2A, Section 3 playoff game, no more got by her as her team rallied to tie the game in third period.

DeForrest, who already had faced a whopping 47 shots, kept it going through five overtime periods, stopping another 53 shots. Finally in the sixth overtime, on the 114th shot she faced in the nearly five-hour game, the puck went into the Eagles’ net, giving East Ridge a 3-2 victory in the longest game played in Minnesota high school girls’ hockey.

“After we were down 2-0, I didn’t know if we could pull it off, but we found a way to dig through it,’’ DeForrest said Thursday at the team’s arena, where she was thrust into the spotlight for stopping 111 shots, nearly twice as many shots as the previous recordholder in an overtime game.

“It was obviously really sad that our season ended, but knowing that we literally gave all we could out on the ice and that there was no more we could do was a good feeling,’’ DeForrest said. “There were a lot of tears, but they were happy tears.’’

Eagles coach Don Erdall called it “something you can’t explain. I don’t know if it will ever be duplicated. If it is, let me know in advance. I’d like to buy a ticket.

“There wasn’t a kid on our team who didn’t put forth their best effort. Every player did something that they weren’t supposed to be capable of last night.’’

East Ridge senior forward Anya Hafiz scored the winner, ending a section quarterfinal game that lasted 121 minutes and 58 seconds, the longest girls’ hockey game in state history.

Shortly after the game, Erdall also paid credit to East Ridge goaltender Chloe Heiting, “who made some spectacular saves. You simply don’t see goaltending like that in a high school game.”

DeForrest’s performance smashed the previous record for saves in an overtime game, set in 2013 by Cassie Alexander of Lakeville North when she stopped 59 shots in a six-overtime, 4-3 loss to Minnetonka in the semifinals of the state tournament.

The Raptors’ Heiting made 38 saves.

East Ridge outshot the Eagles 26-4 in the first period but couldn’t get the puck past DeForrest. The Raptors broke through with two even-strenght goals by Grace Heiting and Abby Roeser in the second period.

The Eagles’ Sophia Leong narrowed the margin to 2-1 with a goal in the second period. Leong tied the game early in the third period with her second goal. Leong reportedly played the last 95 minutes of the game without leaving the ice.

The teams played an 8-minute overtime, followed by a 17-minute stanza. That pattern was repeated two more times until Hafiz ended the game with her goal, assisted by Siobhan Claugherty and Brehna Walz.

East Ridge, seeded fourth in its section, advances to play No. 1-seeded Eastview on Saturday.

The duration of the East Ridge-Apple Valley game eclipsed the previous record set by the Minnetonka-Lakeville North game, which lasted 113 minutes and 29 seconds.

The game was one of two long finishes Wednesday night in girls’ hockey section play. Hastings defeated Burnsville 4-3 at the Hastings Civic Arena in a mere four overtimes. Burnsville goaltender Lauren Bench made 47 saves while Madi True stopped 33 shots for Hastings.

For all of DeForrest’s stops, her night fell short of the all-time state record for saves in a girls’ hockey game. The record for stops in regulation is 118, by Taylor Baumhoefner of Worthington in 2007 game against New Ulm, according to the Minnesota State High School League record book.

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