The two time defending state champion Minnetonka Skippers won their quarterfinal game 4-0 over Irondale. You wouldn't have known. Head coach Eric Johnson sat between seniors Laura Bowman , Amy Peterson and Sidney Morin, showered them with praise and talked about how much they have meant to a program that has reached never before gained heights. They fought back tears as the realization that they both have only two high school hockey games hit home. The Skippers battled back from a 2-0 deficit in the section championship game and scored three goals with under seven minutes to play to gain their third straight trip to St. Paul.
"We kicked it into gear," said Peterson who has a flare for the dramatic when it comes to post season scoring. "We don't want this to end."
Every little moment is being cherished by these Skippers and those little things were noticed by Irondale head coach Tom Rodefeld.
"Eric's team is so incredible," said Rodefeld. "The incredible things are the little things. Before the game, obviously our girls were confident, but we were nervous and I walk by Minnetonka and Eric's over playing a soccer game with them. They're all loose, they're ready. They've been here. He instills so many good qualities in his program.
Those little things aren't new. They are what the Skippers coach in his 8th season on the bench does.
"We were just about late for warm-ups," said Johnson laughing. "The game we play, we all need to touch the ball and we don't dress until everyone does. We kept missing it."
The Skippers jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first period and outshot the Knights 11-4. The Skippers drew from the experience of having been there. Hannah Behounek, Dianna Draayer and Maggie Bazany all scored in the first period to put the Skippers up. Peterson tallied on the power play in the second period to capture the games final goal.
The Skippers advance to the semifinals and will face the winner of Lakeville North and North Wright County at 8PM Friday night.