Brainerd forward Abby Pohlkamp (20) celebrated her second-period goal against Andover. Photo: Aaron Lavinsky ¥ firstname.lastname@example.org
Brainerd/Little Falls girls’ hockey coach Jim Ernster saw Friday’s semifinal against favored Andover as a race to a deciding third goal. As the teams prepared for overtime, Warriors assistant coach Carl Sneep advised Ernster to plan for a marathon.
The Brainerd brain trust was half right.
The Warriors edged Andover 3-2 on Cheyenne Abear’s goal just 10 seconds into the extra period. The victory sends No. 3 seed Brainerd/Little Falls (25-4-1) to Saturday’s Class 2A championship game. Not since Grand Rapids/Greenway in 2008 has a northern Minnesota team reached the big-school class title game.
“We just needed to go out and embrace the moment and have fun,” Ernster said. “You’ve got to get away from this idea that it’s so pressure-stricken that you’re going to have trouble making decisions.”