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Warroad blanks Packers to advance to Class A title game

02/26/2022, 6:30am CST
By Pete Waggoner

St. Paul, MN - The Warroad Warriors held off the South St. Paul Packers 5-0 in the second semi-final round game of the Minnesota State High School League’s Girls’ Hockey Class A to Championship game on Saturday afternoon at 4pm.  Like the semi-final round’s first game a late eruption in the third period set up the decisive difference in the game. 

Norman and Warroad goalie Kendra Nordick were terrific throughout the game keeping both teams at bay with the 1-0 score until the Warriors broke through late in the game with their four goal surge.  Lavergne scored the all-important insurance policy to get things started for the Warriors from Kaiya Sandy and Abby Chamernick at 11:46 of the third period. 

Lila Lanctot scored a pure hat trick in the third period in a span of 1:45. The four goals were scored in a run of 2:03.  It changed the course of a game that saw both teams with scoring opportunities and a pair of goaltenders not giving in.   

Things opened up for the Warriors who took the pressure off themselves and got to work on the offensive end of the game. “Once we knew we had a lead, everything came easier,” said Warroad’s Lanctot.  “It was like it got the weight lifted from us. We're so pumped right now, we're excited to go back to the championship. We’re ready to go.”

After a scoreless first period, Warroad’s Tayla Hendrickson opened the scoring at 9:39 to after Madison Lavergne sent a feed to the slot that was swatted away by the Packer defense in front of their net.  What looked like a nice defensive play, turned into an opportunistic scoring chance for Hendrickson.  She hung onto the puck and was able to hit the far corner through the crowded goal crease area in front of the Packer goalie Delaney Norman for the 1-0 lead.

The shutout was the Warriors third in a row and fifth in their last seven games.  Overall, Warroad has proven very difficult to score on allowing just 29 goals against on the season with 13 shutouts.  Of late, they have been impossible to score on as Nordick and the Warriors are in the midst of a 198:54 shutout run that spans 11 plus periods.  

The win places the Warriors (25-3-1) back in the final game for the first time since 2019 as they are in search of their third state title.  This is Warroad’s 13th state tournament appearance.  The championship game will feature a clash with the defending state champion Proctor/Hermantown Mirage.  Their only game this year was on November 13th, 2021 which resulted in a 1-0 Warroad win on a Lanctot goal in the third period.  

The Packers (16-11-2) will head to the third place game with the Orono Spartans.  The Packers had a seven game (6-0-1) unbeaten streak snapped in their loss to the Warriors. 

Tag(s): State Of Hockey