Orono showed complete dominance in her Class A Minnesota women’s quarterfinal game against Luverne on Wednesday at the Xcel Energy Center, picking up a 6-0 victory.
The Spartans advanced to face No. 2 seed Proctor/Hermantown on Friday at 11 am. The Mirage beat Mankato East, 4-3, in the first quarterfinals on Wednesday. The teams were previously tied, 2-2, earlier in the season.
“I know we are a good team and they are a good team, but I have confidence in the players we have in our locker room. Honestly, I’m not really worried about that opponent, I’m more excited to play them again,” said senior defenseman Mae Grandy.
Not many Luverne fans were able to make the trip due to weather conditions, but a decent-sized section of students from Orono were able to make the 40-minute drive to St. Paul.
The Spartans lit the lamp midway through the first period on the power play when Anika Fortin circled behind the net and lobbed the puck to Mae Grandy, who scored from hash marks.
“Our three lines played very well. Celia Dahl at net, as always, was solid for us and she had a great game,” said Orono head coach Larry Olimb, who is in his first season with the team. “He was really proud of the effort. The girls played hard for each other and moved the puck well. A nice win against a very good team from Luverne.”
About 90 seconds later, Orono scored again. Macy Rasmussen danced around her defenders, sliced into the net and shot high to the blocker’s side for the count.
Towards the end of the first period, Fortin earned a faceoff and passed the puck to Zoe Lopez, who shot the puck into the net at a sharp angle. She hit the Luverne goalie’s facemask/shoulder area, then deflected up and inside.
The Spartans scored two more goals in the second half. Maddy Kimbrel put a rebound into the back of the net, while Lopez earned his second of the night when he slid the puck five holes past goalie Von Tersch.
Kimbrel scored again late in the third period with a shot from the left circle.
Next, the second seed of the tournament.
“If our team comes out with determination, if we get first, it will give us a good boost in the game, and we just have to come out with that determination,” second-year forward Macy Rasmussen said.