The Anoka-Rogers girls team won the State 15UB Championship against Rochester at the St. Cloud MAC arena the weekend of March 18. The Anoka-Rogers girls, ranging in age from 13-15, were 19-1 during the regular season and ranked No. 1 most the season in the Let’s Play Hockey publication.
They swept through the region playoffs two weeks ago with victories of 5-1, 5-1 and 5-3 to reach the state tournament. Friday’s first game in state was against Sartell and the Anoka-Rogers team was led by Katie Devora’s hat trick to give them a 7-0 shutout. Saturday’s game was a much tighter affair as the girls faced a solid Minneapolis team. With two-way play from Avery Wilson, a couple timely goals from Morgan Verke, and a 3 assist game from Kailey Sornberger, the Anoka-Rogers team advanced to the championship with a 3-1 victory.
The Championship game pitted the Anoka-Rogers girls against No. 3 ranked Rochester, who knocked off No. 2 ranked Osseo-Maple Grove to reach the finals. The game started off on a sour note with Rochester scoring first at the nine-second mark of the first period, and saw Rochester increase their lead to 2-0 towards the end of the first.
Playing from behind was a position the team hadn’t experienced often during the season, but they re-focused their efforts with the help and leadership of a strong coaching staff. The tide started to turn in the second period when Emma Rooks gathered a Lizzy Palumbo pass and scored to put Anoka-Rogers on the board. In close succession, Anoka-Rogers tallied their second and third goals by Sornberger and Ally Johnson to take a 3-2 lead into the locker room during the second intermission.
The third period saw continued pressure by the Anoka-Rogers squad and at the 38-second mark Mallory Ramstad and Katie Collier assisted on Rooks’ second goal of the day. Taylor Lundy and Taylor Bloch added goals mid-way through the final period to take a commanding 6-2 lead. Defensemen Elise Kirchen, Karly Sundeen and Maddie George came up strong towards the end of the game and goaltender Breeka Jaramillo withstood 38 Rochester shots to secure the victory for Anoka-Rogers.
In the end, it was a team victory that saw the culmination of all the hard work and effort the girls had put in throughout the season.