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Saturday, February 24, 2007
Hockey (G)
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1A Championship: Chute-Out

By Mark Genosky
Xcel Energy Center - St. Paul, MN

Katharine Chute (right) celebrates the game-winning goal

Chute’s decision to shoot netted more than a goal… it brought a state title.  Katherine Chute finished off a gorgeous end-to-end rush with the eventual game winning goal early in the 3rd period, as Blake skated past Farmington 2-1 in the Class A championship game at the Girls’ State Hockey Tournament.


The game winning play started when Chute picked up the puck deep in her own zone, and headed up the boards.  She went around a Farmington player at the redline, coasted across the blueline and started looking…to pass?


“I came down the left side, and was trying to pass it across actually,” admitted Chute.  The problem is there wasn’t really a teammate with her, and then a Farmington player poke-checked the puck away as Chute was angling towards the goal.


“The puck got away, and then I just kept pulling it back, and was trying to get it towards the net,” is how Chute described the decision to shoot.  She was able to slide the puck toward the near post, and had it glance of Farmington goalie Erin McNamara’s skate and in the goal.


After Chute put the Bears in front, goalie Rachel Bowens-Rubin made sure they wouldn’t go into hibernation without the title.  She came up with several solid saves down the stretch, including helping Blake kill off a 5-on-3 short handed situation midway through the 3rd.  Blake also had to kill off a penalty in the final minute before claiming the hardware.


“The penalty killers were amazing,” said Chute.  “I was in the box at one point, and they saved us.  We had that 5-on-3… that’s been our strength all season, and everyone done well.”


Blake tried to make the game a little less interesting, but McNamara wasn’t game.  The Bears outshot the Tigers 11-1 in the first period, but couldn’t find the net until late in the period, when Margaret Chute knocked in the rebound of her big sister’s power play blast.  That goal helped relieve a little tension the Bears were feeling.


“We were a little frustrated,” said Chute.  “We knew we had a lot of chances, we hit a couple of pipes, so we were happy when we finally got one in.”


Farmington tied things up just 0:39 into the second period, on just their second shot of the game.  Rachel Ripley fired the shot, and Krystal Bauman came up with a nice tip in from right out in front.  The game stayed that way until Chute’s great effort, and great dilemma turned into the great goal.


Besides winning the second state title in the program’s history, the win also represents some revenge for Blake.  They lost to Farmington 6-5 in overtime in last year’s Section Tournament.  It can all be a little overwhelming, even for the star player.


“It’s better than I expected,” said Chute.  “It’s amazing.  It just keeps coming in waves.”

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