Northland Sports Online

Proctor-Hermantown Edges Warroad

Proctor/Hermantown goaltender Abby Pajari (32) makes a save in the second period under pressure from Warroad's Abbey Reule 912) and Reanna Smith (4).  Photo by Cheryl A. Myers, SportsEngine

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Proctor/Hermantown senior Alyssa Watkins has heard all year how good 12-time state participant Warroad can play. But she and her teammates showed why they’re a team from northern Minnesota that deserves some love, too.

The third-seeded Mirage upset No. 2 seed Warroad 3-1 on Thursday in a Class 1A semifinal at Xcel Energy Center, thanks to a two-goal second period that included Watkins’ sixth goal in two tournament games.

“To see us come down and show that we’re just as good, if not even better than they are, it means a lot,” Watkins said. “Especially being the first team in program history to even make it to the state championship is definitely something to be proud of.”

After Warroad’s Abbey Hardwick made it 1-0, Proctor/Hermantown changed the momentum with six-tenths of a second left before the first intermission when freshman Hannah Graves crashed the net and scored the first of her two goals.

In the fourth minutes of the second period, Graves scored off a rush for a 2-1 lead.




“These are the games that players like her can make a difference, and she did that today,” Mirage coach Emma Stauber said. “She’s got great size, she’s got great strength and today she made some really, really good decisions.”

Watkins made it a 3-1 advantage a few minutes later on the power play. The Mirage (20-0) went 1-for-4 on the power play, Warroad 0-for-4.

Coach Dave Marvin of Warroad (20-2) acknowledged the deflating momentum shift from giving up the tying goal while also saying his team had the whole game to score.

“But their goalie played well, and they defended extremely well,” Marvin said. “We got beat today by a better team.”

Mirage junior goaltender Abby Pajari made 31 saves. The Mirage reach its first title game in six state trips.

“It feels so good,” Graves said. “And going in 20-0 is even better.”






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