February 22, 2018 04:52 PM
The No. 2 seeded Centennial-Circle Pines Cougars (24-3-1) prevailed for a 2-0 victory over the unseeded Lakeville South Cougars (19-10) Thursday morning at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Centennial struck first, scoring in the opening period with 4:10 remaining on the clock. Sophomore Allison Pitlick picked up a Anneke Linser rebound and shoved it behind Lakeville net minder Lexi Baker to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead in the first period.
Neither team scored in the period, although both sets of Cougars had ample opportunity to do so. Centennial peppered Baker with 15 shots in the second period alone, bringing its game total to 21 by the end of 40 minutes of play. However, Baker made every single save, giving Lakeville South the opportunity to score the game tying goal in the third and final period of play.
The Lakeville South Cougars also managed to get a few shots off on Centennial goalie Mackenna Stoterau. In the dwindling seconds of the second period, Allison McKinney deked her defender and had an open shot from the far side of the ice. Stoterau made a brilliant pad save with 0:06 remaining in the period, preserving the 1-0 lead for Centennial.
Lakeville South tried to even the score in the third period, but penalties proved costly in the final 20 minutes of play. After nearly 17 minutes of perfect play, the Cougars were called for a penalty with 3:57 remaining in the final period, giving Centennial a one-skater advantage. While Centennial had been unsuccessful in its previous power play attempts, it did not miss its shot in the third period, as Linser scored her 28th goal of the season to give Centennial a 2-0 advantage.
Centennial’s Pitlick was called for tripping shortly after the team scored its second goal, and Lakeville South pulled Baker for an extra skater with one minute left two play. Stoterau was gold in net for Centennial though, as she preserved the shutout to give Centennial the 2-0 lead.
Stoterau faced 27 shots in regulation and made 27 saves, while Lakeville South’s Baker faced 32 shots and saved 29.
Centennial advances to the AA State Championship final, which will take place at 1 p.m. on Friday February 23 at Xcel Energy Center. Lakeville South will compete in the consolation semifinal at Ridder Arena at 10 a.m. on Friday.
Created: February 22, 2018 04:52 PM
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