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Warroad blasts Proctor/Hermantown for Class A title to avenge 2021 semifinal loss

Mirage were attempting to win back-to-back titles but fell flat after a strong first period.

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Warroad celebrates their win over against Proctor/Hermantown in the State Class A Tournament Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live
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ST. PAUL — David Marvin didn’t need to say the actual words out loud to communicate that he felt the capture of another state championship for Warroad had been a long time coming.

The joyful tears and trembled voice with which he spoke during the postgame press conference did most of the talking for him.

But Marvin, Warroad’s girls hockey coach of 16 years, did elaborate verbally, as well.

“I’ve been here a long time and we’ve been really close,” Marvin said after his top-seeded Warriors took down defending champion No. 3 Proctor/Hermantown 6-1 in the championship game of the Class A girls hockey tournament Saturday evening at the Xcel Energy Center.

“I can’t say it never affected me. I wanted these guys to win for a long time. I might get emotional, but I’m super proud of these guys and that jersey they wear.”

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Saturday marked Warroad’s first Class A title since it won back-to-back in 2010 and 2011, which preceeded a decade of domination of the tourney by Blake and Breck, which ended with Proctor/Hermantown’s first title in 2021.

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The Mirage ended the Warriors’ chance at the championship in last season’s semifinals and judging by Lila Lanctot’s closing remark of the postgame press conference Friday, Warroad was eager to return the favor.

“Some of us are still a little salty about that one,” Lanctot said after Warroad (26-3-1) beat South St. Paul in the Friday’s semifinals.

The Warriors actually had beaten the Mirage (21-8-1) since the 2021 state tourney, 1-0 on Nov. 13, but winning the rematch at Warroad Gardens Arena in the second game of the season just wasn’t as sweet winning at the ‘X’.

“It’s amazing,” said junior captain Talya Hendrickson. “It’s an unreal feeling right now. It’s probably the best thing that’s happened to me the last couple years.

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Warroad celebrates their win the State Class A Tournament Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

Added junior assistant captain Kate Johnson: “I can’t even explain it right now. I feel like I’m on Cloud 9.”

Proctor/Hermantown scored the game’s first goal 2:45 into the first period when Nya Sieger cleaned up a rebound in front of the Warroad net.

The first intermission marked the first time Warroad trailed going into the second period since the first game of the season – a 3-2 loss to Holy Family Catholic – and it was only the fourth deficit the Warriors faced all season.

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“We got in the locker room and we were a little down after the first period,” Hendrickson said. “But we talked it out, we figured it out and we put some pucks in the net.

“The floodgates just opened. When we get one goal it’s just like bam, bam, bam.”

PHOTO GALLERY

Like each semifinal game, the championship game seemed to be heading in a certain direction with one team in control before the eventual winning team flipped the game on its face and ran away with it.

In Friday’s semifinal against South St. Paul, Warroad turned a one-goal lead late in the third period into a blowout with four goals in roughly two minutes. Saturday the Warriors were just slightly more methodical.

Warroad tied the game and took the lead on a pair of goals early in the second period to turn the momentum in Warroad’s favor. Defenseman Abby Chamernick made a crafty play from the perimeter on each goal to create the scoring chance.

The junior assistant captain carried the puck around the left size of the offensive zone to the left of the Mirage goal and fired the puck toward the net. The puck squirted out after goaltender Abby Pajari couldn’t corral it and Hendrickson was there to tap it in on the back door at the 3:02 mark.

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Warroad’s Kate Johnson (16) right, celebrates her goal with Warroad’s Lila Lanctot (55) during the second period Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

Just under three minutes later, Chamernick side-stepped a Proctor/Hermantown defender at the point to walk the puck into the slot to put it on net and tee up another rebound, this time for Madison Lavergne to bury.

Chamernick also assisted on Kate Johnson’s second of two power play goals, both of which came later in the second period and gave Warroad a 4-1 lead going into the third.

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“When Cham’s distributing the puck and playing like she was today, she’s very good,” Marvin said. “It seemed like everything she threw at the net was just dropping and someone was putting it in.”

Lavergne finished the game with two goals and Lanctot added a goal in the third period to give her five for the tournament. Goaltender Kendra Nordick had 18 saves for the Warriors and Pajari made 28 saves for the Mirage.

Proctor/Hermantown 1-0-0—1

Warroad 0-4-2—6

First period — 1. PH, Nya Sieger (Jane Eckstrom, Reese Heitzman), 2:45.

Second period — 2. W, Talya Hendrickson (Abby Chamernick), 3:02; 3. W, Madison Lavergne (Abby Chamernick), 5:51; 4. W, Kate Johnson (Lila Lanctot), 9:17 (pp); 5. W, Johnson (Chamernick, Katelyn Courteau), 16:03 (pp).

Third period — 6. W, Lavergne (Katierie Sandy), :40; 7. W, Lanctot (Cahlilah Lindquist, Kaiya Sandy), 5:51.

Saves — Abby Pajari, PH, 28; Kendra Nordick, W, 18; Jordyn Werk, W, 0.

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