Hutchinson ousts Willmar from 2A girls hockey playoffs
WILLMAR -- Junior center Sara Carlson scored three times, including an empty-netter in the game's final minute, to lead the Hutchinson Tigers to a 5-1 victory over the Willmar Cardinals at the Civic Center on Saturday evening.
The win puts the No. 3 seeded Tigers (13-13-1) in the championship game Thursday in St. Peter against No. 1 Mankato West, which erased city-rival Mankato East 5-2.
Carlson, Hutchinson's career scoring leader, fired from high in the slot for a 1-0 lead. Willmar's Lauren Sing then scored later in the first period to tie the game 1-1, but the Tigers were dominant the rest of the way.
Willmar, the No. 2 seed, had skated to a 3-3 tie with Hutchinson on Ja, 4 in Willmar and beat No. 1 Mankato West 3-1 Dec. 17 in Mankato. But the Tigers clearly had more firepower this time, outshooting the Cardinals 39-25. Willmar goalie Baylie Young stopped 34 of 38 shots.
The Cardinals finished 9-14-2. They lost to Hutchinson by the same score last year in the section final.