Hill-Murray captain Abigail Boreen said her team was “focused and calm” entering the Class 2A, Section 4 girls’ hockey championship game against White Bear Lake on Friday at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood.
The mentality helped the Pioneers to a 4-0 victory and a sixth consecutive state tournament appearance.
Boreen, Katie Kaufman and Morgan Helgeson scored for top-seeded Hill-Murray (24-4), ranked fifth in the Class 2A poll from Let’s Play Hockey. Ava Bailey stopped 21 shots for her fifth straight shutout.
“Quite frankly, it’s the best game we’ve played this year,” Pioneers coach Bill Schafhauser said. “It was just a really solid game from top to bottom.”
The win meant Boreen, who has signed with the Gophers, was headed to state for the fifth time in her career. The senior was part of Hill-Murray’s state champion teams in 2014 and 2015 and helped the program to third- and fourth-place finishes the past two years.
The Pioneers returned about 16 players from last year’s team, according to Schafhauser.
“We practiced so hard, and we had that mentality that we were going to make it,” Boreen said. “Hopefully we’ll make it a good run at the state tournament.”
Boreen faced a fellow Gophers recruit Friday in Sydney Shearen, who drew several penalties for third-seeded White Bear Lake (18-8-3) but didn’t score. Bears goalie Calla Frank, who has committed to Minnesota State Mankato, made 25 saves.