Scoring all three goals in the last 11 minutes, Elk River-Zimmerman stayed alive in the state girls hockey tournament with a 3-0 win over North Wright County on Friday.
It was 0-0 until senior forward Danielle Esperum scored on a power play 6:07 into the third period, in a scramble at the net, assisted by Jonna Curtis, at Ridder Arena on the U of M campus. There was discussion by officials whether Esperum had high-sticked and possibly hit the goalie’s glove but they decided against it.
The score stayed 1-0 until just 1:08 remained when eighth-grader Jordan McLaughlin punctured the net, again assisted by Curtis. That was an unusual goal as NWC net-minder Amanda Koep left her post and McLaughlin lobbed the puck over her and into the net.
Curtis, junior forward, then got her 48th goal of the season and first of the state tournament, an empty-netter with 18 seconds left.
It was an evenly-played game otherwise, the Elks launching 29 shots and NWC 27.
Samantha Geissler was in goal for the Elks. Geissler, a senior who was a starter since eighth grade before junior Tori Herrmann took over late in the regular season, posted 27 saves for the shutout.
The Elks (21-8), who lost to top-seeded Minnetonka 3-0 on Friday night, will now meet Lakeville South (25-3-2) in the fifth-place game at noon Saturday at the U of M.