Gentry Academy senior forward Cara Sajevic recorded a hat trick in a 7-0 win over Moorhead on Thursday night. (Matt Harrington)
Minnetonka advanced to the Class AA semifinals with a dramatic late goal from junior forward Lindzi Avar.
Avar’s second goal of the game, with 42.7 seconds remaining in the 3rd period, helped the Skippers advance 3-2 over comeback-minded Centennial/Spring Lake Park.
“We got it deep and made a play along the wall,” Avar said. “[The goal] was all [junior forward and linemate, Kendra] Distad. She put it right on my tape.”
Minnetonka took a quick 1-0 lead on senior forward Ava Lindsay’s 24th goal of the season 47 seconds into the contest.
The Skippers then struck with 3.1 seconds to go in the 2nd period on Avar’s first goal.
C/SLP battled back in the third period, as senior forward Lauren O’Hara (a Ms. Hockey finalist) cut the deficit in half with 9:07 remaining on her 36th goal of the season.
With 1:45 to play, Lindsay went to the box for Minnetonka for interference, setting up a 6-on-4 advantage for C/SLP with the goaltender pulled.
“I came right off the bench and started skating backwards,” Lindsay said smiling. “I was playing defense.”
8th grade forward Grace Laager scored with 1:14 remaining to tie the game at two.
“I just cut to the middle and put it on her pads,” O’Hara said of her shot that led to the Laager goal.
C/SLP junior goalie Kaitlin Groess had 40 saves in the game as she kept her team within striking distance.
“We knew in our locker room we were going to give them a tough game,” Groess said.
Gentry Academy scored early and didn't look back in its quarterfinal win over Moorhead.
The Section 4AA champion Stars scored four goals in the first period, including two short-handed goals by senior forward Cara Sajevic.
“I just saw some open net and when I see that I shoot [the puck],” Sajevic said.
Sajevic netted a hat trick as part of a five-point game that raised her season total to 75 points (35g/40a).
Moorhead, making its first state tournament appearance since 2006, had chances throughout the game but could not beat Gentry senior goaltender Zoe Laming who earned a 22-save shutout.
“Win or lose I’m still very proud of us as a team,” senior captain Bria Holm said.
Minnetonka advances to play Gentry Academy in a Class AA Semifinal at 8 p.m. on Friday at the Xcel Energy Center.
Centennial/Spring Lake Park will play Moorhead in a Class AA Consolation Semifinal at 12 p.m. on Friday at the TRIA Rink in St. Paul.
Tag(s): State Of Hockey