The shots on goal differential told the story; at least for the first two and a half periods. Roseau led 28-12 in shots and 1-0 on the scoreboard, but in the final frame Alexandria made it count with two power play goals to come from behind and beat Roseau 2-1 in the Class 1A semifinals Friday at the Xcel Energy Center.
“We were just waiting for the [second] period to end and get in here and make some adjustments,” said Alexandria coach Mitch Loch. “We talked about how we need to be stronger in the defensive end.”
The defense was led by solid goaltending. Danielle Justice stopped 40 of 41 shots. “What else can you say but outstanding?” asked Loch about his goalie. “We’ve been leaning on her all year back there in the net and she did an incredible job of taking care of the net again.”
The Cardinals also rely heavily on their top line. A line that made the difference in the third period. “It was a little bit nerve-racking,” admitted Loch. “It was hard to tell where we were emotionally and just overall energy. Our first line, every time I had a chance they were looking at me, they wanted out there and when I see that we go that route and they did a nice job of just turning any opportunities late in the game away.”
They used two power plays to tie the game and eventually take the lead. Abby Williams scored the even-up goal at 6:41 of the third. Michelle Anez added the go-ahead at 11:26, a game-winner that the coach didn’t even see.
“I saw Anez come to the middle and shoot the puck, I’m not sure where it went. I just saw the red light go on.”
And the red-clad Alexandria crowd went wild. “It seemed like almost the whole town was here today. There was a lot of Alec fans and we appreciate the base, them coming down and celebrating with us and I’m hoping a lot of them will come back tomorrow.”
In the quarterfinals, the Cardinals got the monkey off their backs. Now what to do with the stuffed monkey they’ve used for motivation? “We should probably bronze it, or burn it, or hang it, or whatever. There’s lots of choices. We’ll have to talk to the original owner and see what we can get done.”
“It’s an incredible honor just to be able to play,” he continued. “Both teams today deserved that opportunity. Fortunate for us and our group of seniors and the rest of our players that we get the opportunity to play tomorrow.”
9:54 - ROS - Abby Ness from Dani Janzen and Amy Olson, 1-0
6:41 - ALEX - Abby Williams PPG from Michelle Anez and Kathryn DelZoppo, 1-1
11:26 - ALEX - Anex PPG from DelZoppo and Williams, 2-1
ALEX - Danielle Justice - 11, 16, 13 = 40 saves, 1 goal
ROSE - Chelsey Froseth - 9, 3, 8 = 20 saves, 2 goals