Minnetonka celebrates after Kayley Crawford scores her second goal of Saturday's 9-4 win over Warroad.
Through four games last season, a Minnetonka program full of Division I talent was 1-3 and had been outscored 11-9 to start the year.
Three hundred and sixty-one days and a head coaching change later, the Skippers are torching the opposition, moving to 4-0 with a 9-4 win over Warroad on Saturday afternoon at Minnetonka’s Pagel Ice Arena.
“The girls are executing the little things that we focus on every day at practice,” said Tracy Cassano, who took the Minnetonka job after longtime head coach Eric Johnson stepped down, spent the last five seasons behind the bench at Burnsville. “They’re playing hard, they’re playing together,” Cassano continued. “They’ve been rewarded with a lot of goal-production.”
The Skippers have recorded 32 goals in their first four games, and have allowed just four, all coming in the win over the Warriors.
It hasn’t been a schedule of cupcakes for the Skippers either, with two of the season’s first three wins coming against Class 2A teams (Lakeville North and Roseau) that advanced to their respective section championship games.
Hanna Baskin scored two goals for Minnetonka in Saturday's win over Warroad.
Against Warroad, the defending Class 1A state runner-up, the Skippers started fast, posting five goals in the first period. Hanna Baskin scored two of those goals in the first, with additional scores coming from Josie Helling, Lacey Martin, and Grace Sadura. Warroad’s Marlie Johnston broke the Skippers’ nine-period shutout streak with a late goal in the first frame.
The teams traded goals in the second, and Warroad pulled within two after notching the first two tallies of the third period. However, Kayley Crawford scored twice, and Martin added her third of the game to pull away for the victory.
Crawford, who finished with three points, is verbally committed to Harvard, one of several Skippers on the roster with verbal commitments to Division I programs. Cassano said that the team’s success is a mix of both talent and scheme.
“The girls have a lot of talent, and just getting them into positions to be successful has been key, reading that their talents are and creating systems that allow them to flourish,” Cassano said.
Warroad's Marlie Johnston netted a pair of goals in Saturday's loss.
This season, YHH will be working with analytics firm Burnsville Analytica to offer a more in-depth statistical look into select games. Burnsville Analytica tracks a high number of stats with several complex algorithms, and YHH will publish those figures at the bottom of each article.
The first chart tracks the shot attempts from each team, comparing the quality shot attempts by a team and low quality attempts. The second graph measures save percentages, with two columns adjusted for save percentage on shot attempts goaltenders should be "expected" to stop and then a save percentage based on adjusted difficulty.
Shots on Goal: 25-23 in favor of Tonka
Tonka - 36%
Warroad - 17.4%
Shot Attempts: 46-45 in favor of Warroad
Zone Movement (number of entries of the offensive zone + number of exits of the defensive zone):