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Mustangs looking to add to championship haul
A year ago, the Mounds View High School girls hockey team won its first Suburban East Conference championship but that’s where the title trophy collection stopped. The Mustangs advanced to the section final last year but came up short in its quest for the section crown.
A year later, Mounds View finds itself in a similar position. The Mustangs wrapped up its second consecutive conference title last weekend and are now prepping for the post-season.
Sophomore Sydney Brodt had a huge game in Mounds View’s 6-3 win over White Bear Lake on Saturday. Brodt recorded five points, including a hat trick, to help the Mustangs overcome a pesky Bears squad and clinch the conference title.
“It feels really great,” Brodt said of locking down the league crown. “It was a great team win and I couldn’t be more proud of my team.”
Sutton, who is headed to Penn State next season, scored twice against White Bear and Bailey Thompson added a goal and an assist.
The victory over White Bear was Mounds View’s first since December of 2011. Mounds View was 0-1-3 against the Bears prior to Saturday’s win.
The back-to-back conference crowns are nice but there is still more on Mounds View’s agenda this season.
“We got one of the championships done with and we still have a section championship and a state championship to go for,” said Brodt. “All year we’ve been waiting for the section tournament. It’s the time we’ve been playing for all year and we can’t wait.”
Only three players from last year’s section final team graduated so there are a lot of Mustangs who remember the feeling of coming so close to getting to state but falling just short.
“They’ve been motivated since Feb. 17 (2013),” said Mounds View co-head coach Aaron Moberg. “The heart of our group is incredible and they want to get to that X so bad.”
Brodt is one of a half-dozen players on this year’s roster who played in the state tournament two years ago. Others include Bella Sutton, Julia Unterseher, Mary Dingman, Maddy Quickstad and Paige Kittelson.
Last year’s Mounds View team was the No. 1 seed in the section but this year that honor is likely to go to Blaine, the Northwest Suburban Conference champion. Not that a high seed is a guarantee of any kind of success in Section 5AA. The Mustangs were the only higher seed to survive the quarterfinals last year.
“A lot of people talk about Section 6 as the top section in the state but our section is extremely deep,” Moberg said. “It’s been proven the last five or six years, it doesn’t matter where you’re seeded. It matters how you’re playing this time of year.”
The No. 2 seed could come down to either Mounds View or Irondale. The Knights beat Mounds View during the regular season but their strength of schedule might be viewed as being lower since they play a number of Class A teams during the regular season.
“Blaine is going to be a favorite in the section and Irondale has a really nice team this year,” said Moberg.
The rest of the section consists of above-.500 teams in Centennial, Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony Village and Rogers and three teams - Anoka, Champlin Park, Coon Rapids - with losing records.
Seedings for the section playoffs were determined Monday night, past the deadline for this edition of the Bulletin. The play-in game is Wednesday, followed by the four quarterfinal contests on Saturday. The semifinals are Feb. 11 and the section title game is Feb. 14. All games are played at Roseville Arena.
Visit www.lillienews.com to see the seeds and the playoff schedule.
The Knights enter the post-season as the defending Section 5AA champion. They accomplished the feat of the winning the section title last year as the sixth seed. It’s unlikely they’ll be seeded that low this year.
Irondale (18-6) has the second-best record in the section, behind only Blaine (20-3-2) and is a perfect 6-0 against teams in the section. Among those victories are wins over Mounds View and Centennial, who are the Knights’ biggest challengers for the No. 2 seed.
Since the middle of December, the Knights have lost just three games and they came against Hopkins and Benilde-St. Margaret’s twice. Hopkins was the No. 1-ranked team in the state last week and Benilde was fifth.
This is the final high school post-season for Irondale senior Samantha Donovan, who is in her sixth season on the varsity for the Knights. She has played in three state tournaments during that time.
Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony Village
The Panthers put together their best regular season in seven years with a 16-7-2 record. That mark is the third-best in the section.
Against section opponents, SLP/SAV is 1-3-1 with the victory coming against Rogers. The tie was against Mounds View while the losses were to Irondale twice and Blaine.
Kim Patterson leads the team in goals (19) and assists (17) and is one of four players with at least 25 points. The goaltending duties have been split between Molly Sienko (9-4-1) and MacKensay Kelly (7-3-1).
Brian Meyers can be reached at email@example.com.