Warroad celebrates its second goal of nine goals. Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune
The thrill of winning its first-ever state tournament game was short-lived for Eveleth-Gilbert. Less than 48 hours after their clutch quarterfinal victory against Red Wing, the Golden Bears were thumped 9-0 by defending state champion Warroad on Friday in the Class 1A semifinals.
“We didn’t skate; we didn’t come to play the game today,” coach Ron Hendrickson grumbled afterward.
He later gave full credit to the top-seeded Warriors (26-3) for playing a hard-skating, tough-forechecking game. But after that bouquet he added in a few thorns about his team’s lack of effort.
“We told our girls what they had to do to compensate for [Warroad’s style] and they didn’t do it,” he said. “In this game, if you don’t move your feet, you don’t make things happen.”
Warroad, on the other hand, did plenty. Ms. Hockey finalist Karley Sylvester got things started less than two minutes into the game with her 30th goal of the season. She also added three assists against the fourth-seeded Golden Bears (20-9), giving her 75 points for the season. Jane Astrup and Layla and Lisa Marvin all scored two goals apiece for the Warriors — the second for each coming as part of a five-goal third period.
“This is what we’ve wanted all year,” Astrup said. “We don’t want to let up. We want to go hard the whole way and prove to everyone that we deserve to be here and we deserve everything we get.”
Warroad’s final goal came with 18.8 seconds left, but no one was apologizing for hard-nosed play through the last whistle.
“We have a big task ahead,” Astrup said of Saturday’s championship game against South St. Paul. “We don’t want to change anything up. If we quit trying in the third period, it’s going to carry over to the next game. We had momentum, and we want to keep that going.”
Jane Astrup, Warroad
She scored two goals, just her fifth and sixth of the year to help the Warriors advance back to the Class 1A state championship game.
Q I kind of got the sense this team is on a mission here
A This is what we’ve wanted all year. We don’t want to let up. We want to go hard the whole way and prove to everyone that we deserve to be here and we deserve everything we get.
Q Up big like you were, why keep scoring in the third period?
A We have a big task ahead. We don’t want to change anything up. If we quit trying in the third period, it’s going to carry over to the next game. We had momentum and we want to keep that going. We know we’ll have to shut (South St. Paul) down early and try to keep their fans quiet. They are a good team. No. 3 (Sam LaShomb) is definitely a good player who never leaves the ice. If we can tire them out, we’ll do fine.
Q All the goals you guys have been able to score, is that a confidence-booster?
A It’s great for our team to get everybody involved. We’re all playing well right now, and that is great. We definitely have a lot of energy and a lot of momentum right now. We’re having a lot of fun down here.