For the Mound Westonka White Hawks, this season has been all about first time experiences. The program that hadn't ever made it to the Xcel Energy Center finally broke through this season and gave the Blake Bears all they could handle in their 5-2 state debut.
"The girls set their goals to get here and once we got here to extend and keep playing here," said Erickson. "I actually thought we could skate with them and thought we could put enough pressure on them and make them make mistakes."
When it comes to the state tournament, everything is big. The games are big, the venues are big and even the post game press conferences are big. Goaltender Emma Polusny along with forwards Liz Schepers and Abby Brustad joined their head coach Chris Erickson following their game and Polusny and Schepers, both 8th graders grinned from ear to ear. Brustad, two years their elder must have felt old sitting up there as a sophomore.
Their experience is everything that is right about girls hockey and high school sports. The stage wasn't to big. As a matter of fact, the young White Hawks fit right in. Brustad scored the first state tournament goal in school history in the second period something the her teammates had talked about on the bench before the game.
"Oh my gosh, it's so exciting. We were talking about it before the game and it's kind of just something you don't think about until after," said Brustad her goal. "The first ever, it's really exciting."
Polusny has started every game for Mound Westonka this season and finished with a 19-7-1 record
"It's bright, it's really bright," said Polusny. "You're just looking around and it's huge."
Huge, just like the way the White Hawks handled their moment. It was their first ever trip to St. Paul.
It won't be their last.