The Minnesota Green Giants advanced to the Chipotle-USA Hockey Tier I 14U Girls National Championship game following a 5-1 victory over Assabet Valley. Behind a hat trick from the Green Giants’ Maya Engler, Minnesota will make its second consecutive Championship appearance.
Assabet Valley opened the game recording the first five shots of the game, but the Green Giants would strike first at 12:23 after Engler took a pass from the blue line and snaked through the Assabet defense to go up 1-0. Assabet knotted the game at one following a short-range strike in traffic from Elizabeth Allen off a Christina Scalese feed at 6:28 in the first.
After a back-and-forth start to the second, the Green Giants retook the lead, 2-1. Engler once again found the back of the net at 6:28 in the second. Amelia McQuay and Hannah Christenson tallied the assists. The teams kept the pressure on each other but couldn’t find the back of the net again the remainder of the second period.
Engler completed the hat trick at 13:10 in the third after the Green Giants pressured in the offensive zone for a few minutes. The forward took a cross-ice pass from Avery Kasick and put it in the back of the net to extend the Green Giant’s lead.
Minnesota tallied two goals in 20 seconds as Hanna Olson and June Semling posted back-to-back goals giving the Green Giants a 5-1 lead.
Assabet Valley put their second goal of the game in the net at 2:43 when Taylor Senecal took a Keira Bruen pass past the Minnesota netminder. Assabet Valley maintained the late pressure but could not record another score, matching the Green Giants 30-30 in shots, in the losing effort.
For the second consecutive year the Chicago Mission are headed to Championship Monday at the 14U level, as Mission topped the hometown Penguins, 3-2 in overtime.
The Penguins recorded two goals in the third to send the contest to an extra period, but the Mission’s Rachel Gorbatenko put the game away a little over a minute into extras.
The Mission put the pressure on early, jumping out to a quick 1-0 lead. Chicago’s Kiera Hanczar roofed a goal line-shot to the back of the net at 13:50 in the first to set the tone for the opening period.
The teams kept it even through the first exchanging chances and a pair of power play-opportunities, but Hanczar’s goal remained the only on the scoresheet.
Kiara Barr extended the Mission’s lead late in the second, finding the back of the net with 2:04 remaining in the stanza.
After a frantic start to the third, the Penguins cut the Mission’s lead in half, 2-1, when Emma Gnade took an Anabella Fanale pass to the back of the net at 10:29 in the final period. The Penguins then tied the game with 4:15 in the third as Natalia Disora laced a pass to Alaina Whitesell who found the back of the net.
The Mission’s defense stood tall, killing off a 5-on-3 opportunity for the Penguins late in the third to keep the game knotted at two and send the tilt to overtime.
A little over a minute into overtime, the Mission sealed the victory after a Gorbatenko shot trickled past the Penguins goalie. Penguins outshot the Mission 22-18, in the losing effort.