Proctor/Hermantown had some extra stowage when it returned home on Interstate 35 on Saturday.
The No. 3-seeded Mirage, a co-op making its fifth state tournament appearance, captured the Class A girls hockey championship with a riveting 3-2 victory in double overtime over top-seeded Gentry Academy at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Senior forward Alyssa Watkins buried a one-time slapper at 6 minutes, 57 seconds into the second extra session to not only keep a perfect season intact for the Mirage (21-0-0) but also earned the team some souvenirs of a trophy and blue-ribboned gold medals from their first title-game appearance.
With Gentry Academy (19-3-0) short-handed because of a checking penalty, Proctor/Hermantown didn’t waste the opportunity. Freshman forward Izy Fairchild and sophomore defender Ava Anick engineered the most memorable goal to date in Proctor/Hermantown girls hockey history with crisp passing around the zone before Watkins let go with a slapper that curled just under the crossbar to set off a jubilant celebration.
Gentry Academy, making its state tournament debut, controlled the first overtime session, outshooting the Mirage, 4-1. Gentry Academy had a power-play opportunity in the extra session, but couldn’t secure the game-winner. Proctor/Hermantown forged overtime when freshman forward Izy Fairchild, off a draw, gained possession of the puck, skated in a few strides and fired a low shot between the pads of Gentry Academy sophomore goalie Rylee Bartizal with just more than eight minutes elapsed in the third period.
Sajevic scored a goal in each period in staking the Stars to a 2-1 lead with one period to play. In building that lead, Sajevic patiently controlled the puck in the left circle while the Stars were on the power play, wheeling to create space. When she found an opening, she whistled a wrist shot that found the upper left corner and bounced around loudly in the goal with 6:55 left in the second period.
Just more than a minute after Gentry Academy had opened the scoring on a goal from Sajevic, Proctor/Hermantown senior forward Aurora Opsahl created a 1-all after converting off a scramble in front.
Through three periods of regulation and one extra session, Gentry Academy held a 32-19 advantage in shots on goal.