Girls State Hockey: Sajevic 1st-period hat trick sends Gentry past Moorhead in AA Quarters

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Fourth-seeded Gentry Academy scored early and often in the first period en route to a decisive 7-0 win over fifth-seeded Moorhead in Thursday evening’s Class AA girls hockey state quarterfinals at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Click the video box on this page to watch extended highlights of Gentry Academy vs Moorhead in the Class AA Quarterfinals at the Girls State Hockey Tournament

After Gentry Academy’s Grace Delmonico opened the offensive burst with an even-strength goal at the 5:33 mark of the first period, teammate Cara Sajevic had a hat trick before the period ended. Sajevic’s first and third goals came shorthanded and led Gentry Academy to a 4-0 lead after one period. She scored at 8:50, 12:33 and 15:48 of the opening period.

The pace slowed in a scoreless second period. At that point Gentry Academy had outshot the Spuds 20-12.

Jenessa Gazdik extended Gentry Academy’s lead to 5-0 with a power-play goal at 2:17 of the third period, throwing the puck on a high trajectory from inside the blue line into the top of the net. Riley Reeves scored an empty-net, shorthanded goal at 9:35 of the third to make it 6-0 and send the game into running time.

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Delmonico’s second goal of the game came from close range at 11:28 and Gentry Academy led 7-0. The seven goals allowed matched a season high for Moorhead, which lost to state semifinalists Andover (AA) 7-0 and Warroad (A) 7-2. The Spuds had been shut out only three times this season.

The final shots-on-goal numbers were 26 for Gentry Academy and 22 for the Spuds. Gentry Academy goalkeeper Zoe Laming had 22 saves in the win. Moorhead’s Taylor Kressen finished the game with 19 saves.

The Spuds (20-9) qualified for state for the fourth time and first since 2006. Gentry Academy’s first state appearance ended with a runner-up finish in 2021 and the team also played at state last year, finishing third. Gentry Academy’s two losses this season were against Class A state semifinalists Warroad (by a 10-7 score) and Proctor-Hermantown (3-2 in overtime).

Gentry Academy (25-2) will meet Minnetonka in Friday night’s semifinals, with Andover and Edina meeting in the other semifinal. The Spuds will meet Centennial/Spring Lake Park in the consolation bracket Friday at TRIA Rink at Treasure Island Center.

Courtesy: Minnesota State High School League