The Mounds View High School girls hockey team scored two goals in each of its two games against district rival Irondale this season. The first time around, in late November, two goals left the Mustangs on the short end but that number was enough on Tuesday.
Mounds View limited the Knights to a single tally and held on for a 2-1 victory in the Section 5AA semifinals at Roseville Arena. With the victory, the Mustangs advance to Friday’s section final against top-seeded Blaine.
Irondale outshot the Mustangs 26-18 but neither team was able to generate many high-quality scoring chances. Half of Mounds View shots on goal came in the first period while Irondale amassed 20 of its 26 after the first period.
The only goal of the first period came off the stick of Mounds View sophomore Bailey Thompson, who scored off of assists from Sydney Brodt and Sara Moen. After holding Irondale to only six shots in the first period, it looked as though that one goal was going to be enough for the Mustangs.
Mounds View added to its lead when Brodt beat Irondale goalie Anna Pate with a rising shot in the second period. Brodt’s goal came unassisted.
Irondale ratcheted up the pressure in the third period despite starting the frame shorthanded. The Knights finally broke through against Mounds View netminder Mary Dingman when Meghan Pieper scored on a low shot from in the slot with about five minutes left in the period. Beka Sinn picked up the assist.
A power play two minutes later gave Irondale a shot at tying the game but the Knights weren’t able to capitalize. Once the power play ended, Mounds View’s forecheck stifled any momentum Irondale had and closed out the victory.
Mounds View (16-8-3), the third seed, is in the section final for the third consecutive year. The Mustangs lost to Irondale last year and beat Blaine two years ago.
Blaine (22-3-2) reached the final by beating Northwest Suburban Conference rival Centennial 4-1 in the first semifinal on Tuesday. The Bengals possess a high-scoring offense similar to Irondale, which means Mounds View will need another strong defensive effort to get back to the state tournament.
Game time Friday is 7:30 p.m. at Roseville Arena.
Section 5AA girls hockey playoffs
All games at Roseville Arena
Game 1 – Rogers 3, Coon Rapids 2
Game 2 – Blaine 7, Rogers 0
Game 3 – Centennial 5, Champlin Park 1
Game 4 – Irondale 4, Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony Village 2
Game 5 – Mounds View 3, Anoka 1
Game 6 – Blaine 4, Centennial 1
Game 7 – Mounds View 2, Irondale 1
Championship game, Feb. 14, 7:30 p.m.
Game 8 – Mounds View vs. Blaine