Elk River-Zimmerman notched one goal in each period and won its section opener 3-0 over St. Francis/North Branch at home Thursday evening.
The No. 2 seeded Elks (13-8-5) will host Grand Rapids-Greenway (15-9-2) in the Section 7AA semifinals on Saturday. Game time was not set at this posting.
Samantha Westgaard gave the Elks a quick 1-0 lead 56 seconds into the first period, assisted by her sister Drea.
Saints goalie Kendra Barck, who made 38 saves, buckled down and kept her team within one goal until just 19 seconds remained in the second period. That’s when Abbie Canton back-handed a rebound into the net on a power play. Breanna Simon and Emily Heid assisted.
Kaylee Forster notched the final goal with 44 seconds left in the game, Simon assisting.
The Elks limited the Saints (9-12-5) to 16 shots, all foiled by goalie Michaela Gould.
The Elks beat Grand Rapids-Greenway 4-0 in Grand Rapids on Jan. 10.
In other sectionals Thursday, GRG beat Cloquet-Esko-Carleton 3-2 in overtime Friday, top-seeded Andover (14-9-3) cruised 9-1 over Cambridge-Isanti/Mora/Pine City, and Forest Lake (10-4-3) ousted Duluth 3-2 in two overtimes.