Girls hockey: See ya SaturdayAfter being seeded fourth in the Class 2A, Section 3 tournament, the Rosemount girls hockey team was certainly hoping an old cliché would come true.
By: Brian Hall, Rosemount Town Pages
After being seeded fourth in the Class 2A, Section 3 tournament, the Rosemount girls hockey team was certainly hoping an old cliché would come true.
In several sports it’s been said it’s hard to beat a team three times in one season. Good thing, Irish coach Tracy Cassano believes it to be true.
As the fourth seed, Rosemount earned a home playoff game against fifth-seed Park. The Wolfpack had won two close games against the Irish earlier this season.
“From a coaching standpoint, I think it’s difficult to beat a team three times in one season,” Cassano said. “I felt that the kids were very excited to get another crack at them. We knew the other times we had played them we weren’t playing our best hockey. The first time we didn’t play a complete game and the second time we had a couple of players playing injured.
“We came out fired up and ready to go. I guess there was a little revenge. We wanted to prove we actually earned the four seed and the home game. We came out with that ‘We’re better than you,’ attitude.”
The Irish proved that on Wednesday night, opening the playoffs with a 6-2 win against Park.
Now they are again hoping it will difficult to beat a team three times in one season. Top-seeded Eagan won their opening game setting up another rematch. The two teams play at 6 p.m. Saturday at Veteran’s Memorial Community Center in Inver Grove Heights.
The Wildcats also beat Rosemount in two close games during the regular season. Eagan beat the Irish 4-1 in the regular season finale late last week.
“We never really felt like we played Rosemount hockey against them,” Cassano said. “We didn’t feel we established our game. We weren’t out of it, but we didn’t feel we played the way the coaches and players think we can play. We walked away thinking we had played a ‘B’ game and they definitely played an ‘A’ game. They came out flying with a lot of energy and played a great game.
“We’re really excited for Saturday to have another crack at them.”
To get to Saturday, the Irish had to prove the cliché true at least once.
Sarah Tollefson, Allison Micheletti and Rachael Kelly each had two goals in the Irish’s 6-2 win against Park. Cailtin Dantzscher made 18 saves in goal.
After Rosemount opened a 2-0 lead, the Wolfpack tied the game in the second.
With time running down in the second, Kelly intercepted a pass in the neutral zone, cut through defenders and deked the goalie to score the game-winner with 28 seconds left in the period. Tollefson added another goal about a minute into the third to completely shift the momentum in Rosemount’s favor.
“They had to sit for the whole resurface time after giving up the goal and giving up the lead,” Cassano said. “It was a nice way to send it into locker room. We came right out on them and again and scored, which was huge. That was the difference. Rachael’s goal was the turning point in the game and we stayed on them.
“In the third period in some games we’ve given up some leads or let a team sneak back in and keep it close. (Wednesday) we kept our feet moving and kept the pressure on them.”
Last week against Eagan, Micheletti scored the Irish’s lone goal in the third period to make it a 2-1 game, but the Wildcats countered with two late goals.
Now Rosemount hopes to prove the old theory one more time.