Girls State Hockey: Orono advances to Class A final after overtime win over Hermantown/Proctor
An overtime goal by Maddy Kimbrel provided Orono (22-3-4) with its first ticket to the Class A Girls Hockey State Tournament championship game, as the Spartans scored a 4-3 win over Proctor-Hermantown (20-7-2) in the Tournament’s first semifinal game on Friday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
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Kimbrel hit the back of the net at 12:47 of overtime on a play that was set up by Zoe Lopez, who found Kimbrel open in front of the net with a well-time kick pass that resulted in the game winner. Macy Rasmussen added the second assist on the play for Orono.
The showdown between Proctor-Hermantown (last year’s runner-up) and Orono (the 2022 third place team) opened in the first period with a goal at 6:21 by Proctor-Hermantown’s Reese Heitzman on an assist from Nya Sieger.
Early in the second period, Orono tied the contest at 1-1 with a power play goal by Alexa Niccum at 1:00, which included assists from Anika Fotin and Alex Paulsen. Orono then extended its lead to 2-1 at 5:41 of the second period with a goal by Macy Rasmussen as the solo assist was credited to Kali Schmidt.
Orono pushed its lead to 3-1 on an even-strength goal by Lopez at 7:19 of the second with the assist going to Alexandra Pleimann. To complete the scoring in the second period, the Mirage returned to the scoring column at 10:43 of the second period with an even-strength goal by Sieger, which included an assist from Jane Eckstrom.
Down 3-2 late in the contest, the Mirage pulled its goalie Neelah McLeod with hopes of forcing the overtime session. The strategy worked as Proctor-Hermantown tied the game at 16:28 with a power play goal by Izzy Fairchild. Sieger and Alyssa Yokom each had assists on the play that resulted in a 3-3 score at the end of regulation.
In the overtime session, Kimbrel stepped into the spotlight with her game winner that was her second goal and fourth point of the tournament.
Both teams notched 27 shots on goal and both teams were 1-of-4 on the power play in the game. Orono’s Celia Dahl made 24 saves and gained the victory in the contest, while McLeod posted 23 saves for Proctor-Hermantown.
Orono will now advance to the Class A Girls Hockey State Tournament championship game on Saturday 4:00 p.m. Orono will face the winner of the South St. Paul-Warroad game and the title game will be played at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Proctor-Hermantown will next place in the third place game on Saturday 9:00 a.m. at the Xcel Energy Center against the loser of today’s game between South St. Paul and Warroad.