Irish girls hockey tops Eastview, heads to state
One furious period was more than enough to send the Rosemount High School girls hockey team to the state tournament.
The Irish scored four goals in the second period of Wednesday night's game with Eastview and beat the Lightning 6-2 to take the section title on the ice at the Veterans Memorial Community Center in Inver Grove Heights.
"They were definitely ready to go," coach Tracy Cassano said of her team. "It was definitely a different type of feeling than last year. Because of the fact they were there last year, this year our experience played a factor into it. They were really confident."
Rosemount struck first when Rachael Kelly scored in the first period with an assist to Taylor Sampson.
The Irish then exploded for four goals in the second before Eastview got on the board.
Kendra Goodrich scored a power play goal with assists to Kelly and Alison Warweg. Allison Micheletti scored unassisted, and Kelly added her second goal unassisted. Sarah Tollefson ended the flurry with a goal and assists to Kelly and Sampson.
Eastview scored before the second period ended and added its other tally in the third, but Sampson finished the scoring with an assist to Micheletti.
Kelly finished with two goals and two assists. Sampson had a goal and two assists. Micheletti had a goal and assist.
Rosemount goaltender Caitlin Dantzscher finished with 17 saves as the Irish outshot Eastview 36-19.
"They told me in school, 'Coach, it's not even going to be close,'" Cassano said of her players. "I said, 'OK, you have to back it up with action.' They definitely did."
Wednesday's game was the fourth meeting of the year between the Irish and the Lightning. Eastview won the first two, both played in December. Rosemount won the season finale between the two teams and was the section's top seed. Eastview was the second seed.
The championship game was not nearly as close as Rosemount's first two section games. The Irish advanced to Wednesday's game by beating Woodbury, 4-3, and going to overtime before polishing off Hastings, 3-2.
The Irish, currently ranked ninth in the state, will play Feb. 24 in the first round of the tournament. The state tournament teams will be seeded Saturday.
There will be information next week about how to buy tickets. Rosemount High School students will be able to buy tickets Tuesday, and the school will have permission slips for students who want to attend the game. RHS will send a fan bus to the game.
Look for complete coverage of the Irish girls' section title online and in print in next week's Rosemount Town Pages.