Best Coaching Staff
The power of female coaches in girls hockey was on full display during this year’s Danglefest, with numerous women on the bench for several teams. What set the Skippers apart is the fact that the 10A Division champions were guided by the all-female staff of Beth Bresnahan, Kiersten Falck, and Katie McMillan. Representation matters in women’s hockey, and having a championship team entirely made up of females is about as representative as it gets.
Prior Lake 10A 4, Stillwater 10A 3
There was no better place during this year’s Danglefest to pull off a massive comeback than TRIA Rink, located on the top floor of the Treasure Island Center in downtown St. Paul and home of the NWHL’s Minnesota Whitecaps.
The Lakers of Prior Lake found themselves in a 3-0 hole with 10:22 remaining in the second period, enough time for three goals, but nonetheless a daunting task given how Stillwater had played to that point.
With 6:10 to play in the second, Liv Heinicke put the Lakers on the board, the first step in any attempt to erase a deficit. Raya Mathiason followed with a goal less than four minutes later to send the game into the third period with Stillwater’s advantage down to one goal at 3-2. Kendall Roberts tied the game for the Lakers with 1:57 left in regulation, and Mathiason finished the job with the game-winning goal 30 seconds later as the Lakers escaped with the 4-3 victory.
Kateryna Sander, Minnetonka 12A
If the state of Minnesota didn’t have an attendance cap on sporting events, Sander’s go-ahead goal in the 12A Division championship would have become the stuff of legend.
With the Skippers tied with District 6 rival Edina 2-2 midway through the third period, Sander raced nearly the length of the ice for a puck that had squirted through the neutral zone and was en route to the Edina goal line. Rather than resign herself to the icing call and regroup in the Minnetonka zone, Sander beat the puck to the line, and in the same motion, sent a laser into the upper corner of the Edin net.
The Skippers added two more goals on top of Sander’s go-ahead tally and won the game 5-2.
In addition to scoring the tournament's Best Goal, Minnetonka's Kateryna Sander was named 12A Division Most Valuable Player.
Best Goalie Pads
Suri Langley, Proctor/Hermantown 12A
Only a goalie fo Langley’s caliber could wear pads like hers.
The Proctor/Hermantown netminder backstopped the Mirage to an appearance in the 12A semifinals before a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of eventual runner-up Edina in overtime, and allowed the second-fewest goals (9) throughout the tournament.
Langley’s leg pads, blocker, and glove feature a striking set of colored lines, but calling them lines almost dulls the marks in a way. They’re more like bolts of brightness, perfect for turning away pucks.
Best Goalie Helmet
Emelin Downey, Orono Westonka 10A
Being a goalie is a little bit like being a pitcher in baseball or softball - sometimes fear is a powerful tool to use against your opponent.
Emelin Downey's mask is certainly intimidating enough to scare off opponents, and her play is just as tenacious as her lid. Downey posted two shutouts during the tournament and allowed the second-fewest amount of goals in the 10A field. Her performance helped the Warriors to an appearance in the semifinals, but her mask took home top honors in this category.
It may not make waves at the world-renowned Minneapolis Institute of Art, but the Minneapolis 10A kits certainly made a splash this weekend.
Crispness combined with simplicity is typically a winning combination when it comes to uniforms, and the Minneapolis set of black, white, and grey with “Minneapolis” written in script across the chest makes for an appealing result.
Orono-Westonka goaltender Emelin Downey and her famous helmet.
Cambriia Thomas, Proctor/Hermantown
|Maddie DuChene||Prior Lake||Defense|
|Raya Mathiason||Prior Lake||Forward|
Olivia Braunshausen, Stillwater