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Game Summaries
State Tournament Summary
By Howard  Voigt
No. 2-seeded Hill-Murray (24-3-1) advanced to the Class AA state finals with a 4-1 dismantling of Burnsville. After an even start, the Pioneers began to take over, eventually finishing the game with a 43-11 shot advantage.

Junior forward Jess Bonfe broke the door open with a powerplay goal for Hill-Murray, whipping a changeup at Blaze goalie Lauren Bench that inched just under her leg pad past the crease. Bonfe then assisted on the next Pioneer goal scored by Rebecca Zarembinski a couple of minutes later in the period.

After an early second period goal by Hill-Murray tenth grader Kenzie Prater, Burnsville’s senior laden first line aimed to get back in the game. A tic-tac-toe of passing between Lindsey Coleman and Britta Nelson eventually found linemate Paige Skaja for the score. The three players finished at top of the individual scoring list for the South Suburban Conference and have been teammates on varsity since eighth grade – the last time the Blaze made the state tournament.

Hill-Murray didn’t let up once its shutout was broken. Brittany Anderson responded to the Burnsville goal with one of her own – assisted by Jac Kassa, taking the momentum right back from the Blaze. From then on, it seemed as though the Pioneers never gave up the puck.

Both goalies played well in the game; Bench faced 43 Pioneers shots and saved 39 of them, while Leah Patrick saved 10, giving up just the one Blaze goal.

Hill-Murray will face the winner of Eden Prairie and Andover in Friday’s Class AA semifinal at the Xcel Energy Center for a 6:00 p.m. start.

Burnsville moves over to the consolation round for a 10:00 a.m. game Friday at Ridder Arena on the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus.


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