S. St Paul earns record 16th trip to State Girls Hockey Tourney

If team leaders are expected to step up when the stakes are the highest, South St. Paul’s captains did their job scoring three of the Packers four goals as they secured a record-extending 16th trip to the Girls State Hockey Tournament in a 4-2 win over Chisago Lakes in the Section 4A Championship game.

Click the video box on this page to watch KSTP Sports’ extended highlights of the Section 4A Championship game between South St. Paul and Chisago Lakes including postgame interviews and the Packers’ victory celebration

Goals by Packers captains Lilie Ramirez, Ashley Jerikovsky and Sarah Wincentsen had South St. Paul up 3-2 with just under five minutes to play before a shorthanded tally from Eva Beck sealed the win.

The Packers other captain, senior Kayla Matuzak, assisted on the Packers second and fourth goals.

Chisago Lakes’ standouts and Minnesota-Duluth commits Danielle Brunette and Dani Burgen scored the Wildcats two goals.

Clinging to a one-goal lead, South St Paul killed off three third period power plays, with Beck’s shorthanded insurance goal coming on the final penalty kill.

Packers goalie Delaney Norman made 22 saves in the win. Brianna Ritter stopped 32 shots in the Chisago Lakes’ net.

Chisago Lakes finishes their season 13-14-1, falling one game short of a return to the Class A State Girls Hockey Tournament after a State Semifinal appearance last year.

South St. Paul (15-10-2) opens State next Wednesday at the Xcel Center in St. Paul. Their opponent will be revealed when the brackets are announced Saturday.

South St. Paul head coach Dave Palmquist is seeking a fifth state title in what will be the sixteenth State appearance for both Palmquist and the Packers program. Their most recent title came back in 2006.

[Note: A previous version of this story unintentionally omitted Packers senior Kayla Matuzak from the list of team captains]