- PAUL -- Warroad was trying everything it could do to stay in the Minnesota Class A state girls hockey tournament championship Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Xcel Energy Center.
But a surprising call by the goal judge with 6 minutes and 31 seconds left in the game took away any momentum the Warriors had in falling 6-1 to Breck. It was Breck’s second straight championship game win over Warroad and its third state championship overall.
The Warriors were down 3-1 to the Mustangs when goal judge Melissa Doyle first blew her whistle. Doyle ruled the puck frozen on a shot by Warroad’s Hannah Corneliusen in the crease. The puck looked like it was still loose before it got to eighth-grade goalie Uma Corniea.
Not long after, Doyle blew her whistle again and called Warroad for a delay of game. Breck’s Sadie Lindsay was given a penalty shot and scored on Warroad goalie Quinn Kuntz to all but ice the game at 4-1. The Mustangs added an empty-net goal 1:14 later and another by Ashley Halverson for the final tally. Breck had five unanswered goals after the Warriors tied it at 1 in the first period.
“I thought the call was rotten,” Warroad head coach David Marvin said. “(Doyle) blew the call dead early. She makes one mistake and then goes down on the other end and gives them a penalty shot? The sequence was terrible. I know you’re supposed to have good sportsmanship in high school, but that was B.S. That goal would have been huge. She blew it.
“How many times have you seen that in a state championship game? It was garbage.”
Marvin wasn’t given much of an explanation by Doyle about her calls.
“She got worked up that I was questioning her about the first call. She felt good (about that penalty shot) – I could tell,” Marvin said. “Breck’s a good hockey team, I’m not upset with them. We just had an opportunity taken away from us.”
Breck head coach Keith Radloff was happy that Lindsay delivered the big blow when their team needed it.
“I’ve seen that move Sadie made (on the penalty shot) a lot. She has such great composure,” Radloff said. “She reads the goaltender so well before she finishes the play. Sadie virtually never misses penalty shots.”
Breck (22-8-0) handed Warroad (28-1-1) its first loss of the season. Warroad had allowed 20 goals going into the semifinals of the tournament. Kuntz ended up allowing six goals in the final two games of the tournament.
Breck got the goal-ahead goal on a redirect from Elly Klepinger at the 4:09 mark of the second period to make it 2-1. The goal went by Kuntz after Klepinger’s shot went off a Warroad player’s skate. The Warriors tied the game at 1 on a power-play goal from Elly Klepinger 14:42 into the first period.
Corniea was stellar in goal, finishing with 41 saves. It was her second straight year being in goal for the championship game. Warroad outshot Breck 42-36.
“We did this as a team. We all played our best to win the championship again. I was just in the zone. Everyone in our locker room was so positive. It really kept me going,” Corniea said.
Notes: Breck’s Katherine Solohub was the Class A Herb Brooks Trophy Award winner.
Warroad’s Genevieve Hendrickson, Kaitlyn Kotlowski, Corneliusen and Kuntz were named to the Class A All-Tournament team. Breck’s Carly Beniek, Olivia Mobley, Solohub and Corniea were also named to the team.
Breck 1 1 2– 4
Warroad 1 0 0 – 1
First period: B – Carly Beniek (Olivia Mobley, Allyson Qualley), 13:01; W – Marlie Johnston (Tahra Johnson, Karlie Meeker), 14:42.
Second period: B – Elly Klepinger (Ashley Halverson), 4:09.
Third period: B – Mobley (Qualley), 2:05; B – Sadie Lindsay (Penalty Shot), 12:16; B – Beniek (Emily Zumwinkle), 13:12; B – Halverson (Klepinger), 13:39.
Power plays: B 0-3, W 1-3.
Goalies: B – Uma Corniea (41 saves); W – Quinn Kuntz (30 saves).