21 Aug 2014
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STATE CHAMPIONS

Minnetonka defeats Edina 3-2 for the first state girls hockey championship in school history.

Amy Petersen didn’t look like a sophomore or a first-time state tournament participant when it mattered most on Saturday. Instead, she looked like a champion.

And now she is one.

Gridlocked 2-2 with 39 seconds left in the Class AA state championship, the Minnetonka girls hockey forward found herself with the puck on her stick in front of Edina goalie Maddie Dahl. She moved to her right, found the top of the net and inked the Skippers place in Minnesota hockey lore with a 3-2 title game victory at the Xcel Energy Center.

For the first time in school history, Minnetonka is atop the girls hockey mountain.

“It’s been incredible to watch and be part of,” senior Rachel Ramsey said. “We’ve been working to get here and we finally got here.”

To win it all, the Skippers (29-1-1) had to go through their arch-rival and virtual twin Edina, which mirrored Minnetonka’s grit, strong defense and elite goaltending throughout the season.

The teams played twice this year, with the Skippers winning 1-0 and tying 2-2. Naturally, the state title game came down to a tie with seconds remaining in regulation.

Petersen found herself in the right place at the right time.

“It made me realize how close we were to winning,” Petersen said of the moment. “It was just amazing.”

A book end of sorts for the sophomore. Petersen opened up scoring at the 8:32 mark of the first period. It was the Hornets’ first goal against in the state tournament.

But Edina (26-4-1) came back in a hurry. Senior Christie Brauer tied the game with a goal 57 seconds later, and less than 30 seconds after that Hornets junior Lizzy Otten gave Edina a 2-1 lead.

Like they have all season, the Skippers responded. Senior forward Courtney McDougal scored her first goal of the year to knot the score at 2-2—an opportune moment to find the net.

“That was her first goal of the year,” coach Eric Johnson said. “And it was the biggest goal of the year for our team at that point.”

That set the stage for a chess match the rest of the way. Where Minnetonka pressed, Edina countered. When the Hornets found daylight, the Skippers cleared the puck away from danger.

But with 39 seconds left and both teams preparing for overtime, Petersen seized the moment—something her coach said he knew she had the potential to do.

“Amy is one of the smartest hockey players I’ve ever coached,” Johnson said. “Offensively she’s a playmaker—she hustles and she can finish. She is a player that is a huge factor in our team’s success.”

Senior goalie Julie Friend made 20 saves on the night, helping the Skippers deny Edina the title in it’s second consecutive state finals appearance. 

She said winning the state championship in that way against that team only makes the accomplishment more surreal.

“A lot of the girls on our team get fired up to play Edina,” Friend said. “It was amazing. I can’t even explain it to you.”

GAME SUMMARY

Edina 2 0 0 — 2

Minnetonka 2 0 1 — 3

Scoring — First period: 8:32 MINN Amy Peterson (Carolyn Draayer), 9:29 EDINA Christie Brauer (Sami Reber, Sarah Nielsen), 9:54 EDINA Lizzy Otten (Brauer, Nielsen), 13:16 MINN Courtney McDougal (Petersen, Laura Bowman). Second period: No scoring. Third period: 16:20 MINN Petersen (Bowman). Shots on goal — Edina 22, MINN 24. Power plays — 0-1, MINN 1-3. Saves — EDINA Maddie Dahl 21, MINN Julie Friend 20.

ALL TOURNAMENT TEAM

Rachael Bona (Coon Rapids), Hannah Brandt (Hill-Murray), Sarah Nielsen (Edina), Sami Reber (Edina), Ali Austin (Edina), Megan Armstrong (Edina), Maddie Dahl (Edina), Julie Friend (Minnetonka), Carolyn Draayer (Minnetonka), Sidney Morin (Minnetonka), Amy Petersen (Minnetonka), Rachel Ramsey (Minnetonka)

HERB BROOKS AWARD WINNER

Carolyn Draayer (Minnetonka)

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