MADISON, Wis. – The semifinals of the first-ever Division 2 Boys State Hockey Tournament and the Girls State Hockey Tournament at Veterans Memorial Coliseum Thursday determined the teams advancing to the championship games Saturday.
Top-seeded St. Mary’s Springs (23-3-2) will play in the boys Division 2 championship game following a 7-2 victory over Rice Lake in the first semifinal of the day.
The Ledgers scored a pair of goals in the first period and added two more in the second period to take a 4-0 advantage before Rice Lake scored prior to the second intermission, cutting its deficit to 4-1. St. Mary’s Springs scored three unanswered goals in the third period to expand its lead to 7-1 before the Warriors scored late in the period to cap the scoring.
Brady Welsch scored twice and dished out an assist for the Ledgers; Max VandeSlunt netted a pair of goals; and Noah Pickart added a goal and three assists to lead the offensive attack. Hayden Rising was credit with the win in goal, making 11 saves before being relieved by Joey Koleno in the third period.
Mason Ewert and Cole Fenske scored the goals for the Warriors, and Griffin Van Gilder made 18 saves and was charged with the loss in goal.
The Ledgers were 2-for-4 on the power play and outshot the Warriors 30-14 in the game. Rice Lake (11-14-1) was eliminated from its third State appearance, and St. Mary’s Springs will play in the title game in its first appearance as a stand-alone program.
Second-seeded Northland Pines (16-11-1) earned a berth in the title game by cruising to a 9-2 win over Somerset Co-op in its semifinal.
The Eagles jumped on top with the first two goals of the game in the first period, but the Spartans cut their deficit in half with a goal to trail 2-1 at the first intermission.
The second period belonged the Eagles, scoring four unanswered goals, including three power-play scores. They scored three more times in the third period to erase any notion of a Spartans’ comeback. Somerset did score once in the third period to account for their final goal of the game.
Both Harmon Marien and Gunnar Schiffmann scored two goals, and each added an assist to lead the potent Eagles’ scoring attack. Riley McGee chipped in with a goal and three assists, and Brady Snedden added a goal and two assists. Brett Wilkins was the winning goalie with 16 saves.
Beaudee Smith led the Spartans on offense with a goal and an assist, and Antonio Gomez scored the other Spartans’ goal. Kaleb Bents made 28 saves in goal. Somerset Co-op (16-11-1) finishes its season with its first appearance in the State Tournament.
In the girls semifinals, top-seeded Middleton Co-op (21-3) defeated Beloit Co-op 5-2 to advance to the championship game Saturday.
The Lynx scored three times in the first period to take command of the game. The Fury scored first in the second period, but the Lynx score just before the second intermission to boost its lead back to three goals at 4-1.
The Fury cut its deficit to 4-2 with a goal late in the third period but the Lynx clinched the win with an insurance goal with 1:26 remaining in the game.
Rachel Mirwald paced the Middleton Co-op offense with a pair of goals, and Kaya Byce handed out a pair of assists. Addie Armstrong recorded the win in goal with a game-high 30 saves.
Beloit Co-op (18-9) was led by Alyssa Knauf, who scored a goal and led all players with 12 shots on goal. Anika Einbeck netted the other score for the Fury. Olivia Cronin made 14 saves and was charged with the loss in goal. The Fury outshot the Lynx 32-19 in the game.
Middleton Co-op will play in the championship it its inaugural appearance at State, and the Fury ends its season with its first appearance at State with this arrangement of schools in the co-op.
The Xavier Co-op (18-7), the second seed and defending champion, advances the championship game with a 4-2 win over Hudson in the semifinals.
The later part of the first period was a scoring frenzy. The Stars scored a pair of goals to open the scoring within 1:11 of each other, but Hudson answer with a goal to cut the Xavier Co-op lead to 2-1 with just over a minute to play in the period. However, the Stars added a goal with 31 seconds remaining in the first period to build a 3-1 advantage.
Hudson scored the only goal of the second period to narrow its deficit to 3-2. However, the score remained unchanged until the final moments of the game when the Stars scored an empty net goal to account for the final score.
Maddy Jablonski led the Stars offensively with a goal and an assist, and Annika Horman assisted on two goals. Ella Scriboski went the distance in goal for the Stars, recording 24 saves to earn the victory.
Leah Parker accounted for both goals for the Raiders, which held a 26-19 advantage in shots on goal in the game. Alayna Kunshier made 15 saves in goal for Hudson.
The Stars shoot for their second straight State title after winning the title last year in the co-op’s first State appearance. Hudson (12-14-1) ends its season with its fifth State appearance.
Play in the 50th Annual Boys State Tournament resumes at the Alliant Energy Center Friday with the Division 1 semifinals beginning at 10 a.m.