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Knights, Mustangs meet again in the post-season
When Irondale and Mounds View square off in their girls hockey section playoff game on Tuesday, expect the Knights to win a low-scoring game. Or it might be the Mustangs securing the victory in overtime.
The only thing the above predictions are based on is past history. The last four times Irondale and Mounds View met in the playoffs, that’s how the games ended.
Since 2008, the District 621 rivals have played each other in the post-season four times with each team winning twice. Irondale’s victories were both by the score of 2-1, both came in the section final (2009, 2013) and the game-winning goals in both games were scored late in the third period.
Mounds View picked up its playoff wins over Irondale by identical 4-3 scores and both games went multiple overtimes. In 2008, the Mustangs beat the Knights in double OT and in 2012 the game went into a fourth overtime session.
It’s hard to predict how the game will turn out on Tuesday but it’s probably a safe bet that it will be a close game. Note that all four of the aforementioned contests were one-goal games. So was the regular-season meeting back in November that Irondale won 3-2. In games dating back to the 2005-06 season, neither team has beaten the other by more than two goals.
The winner of Tuesday’s game, which is set for 8 p.m. at Roseville Arena, advances to Friday’s section final against either top-seeded Blaine or fourth-seeded Centennial.
Second-seeded Irondale opened the post-season on Saturday with a 4-2 victory over seventh-seeded Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony Village. It was the third meeting of the season between the two North Suburban Conference rivals and the Knights gave up two goals in each of the three match-ups.
Irondale never trailed but was never really able to put the Panthers away, either. Senior Samantha Donovan scored the only goal of the first period and gave Irondale a 2-0 lead with a goal three minutes into the second.
SLP/SAV answered with a goal by Allie Guzy two minutes later but senior Alex Toupal restored the Knights’ two-goal cushion with six minutes to play in the period.
The Panthers made it a one-goal game on Maggie Ronning’s shorthanded goal with six and a half minutes left in the third period. Toupal then closed out the scoring her second goal of the game at 12:38 of the third.
In addition to her two goals, Donovan also added assists on both of Toupal’s two tallies to finish with a four-point game. Hannah Rupp made 17 saves to pick up the victory in net for Irondale.
Mounds View also posted a victory in its quarterfinal but like Irondale was unable to create much separation from its opponent.
The third-seeded Mustangs knocked off sixth-seeded Anoka 3-1 behind a pair of goals from Cristi Oliver. Oliver got her first goal less than two minutes into the second period to put Mounds View up 2-0.
Anoka got its only goal of the game at the 14:27 mark of the second to make it 2-1. Oliver bagged her second goal of the game seven minutes into the third to restore Mounds View’s two-goal lead and close out the scoring.
Mounds View got its first goal on a penalty shot by Julia Unterseher after the first period had ended. The penalty shot was awarded when an Anoka skater covered the puck in her own crease. Unterseher got Anoka goalie Molly Scarborough to bite on a forehand fake before backhanding the puck past her.
Joining Oliver in posting a multi-point performance was Sydney Brodt, who recorded a pair of assists.
Despite the score being close, Mounds View had a decided edge in shots on goal. The Mustangs peppered Scarborough with 41 shots while Mounds View netminder Mary Dingman faced only 16.
Blaine advanced to the semifinals by beating ninth-seeded Rogers 7-0 in the quarterfinals on Saturday. Centennial topped fifth-seeded Champlin Park 5-1 in the quarters.
Brian Meyers can be reached at email@example.com