Huron’s Paige Small takes a shot during a game earlier this season against Rushmore at Bergman Arena. PHOTO BY MIKE CARROLL/PLAINSMAN
HURON — The Huron Lady All-Stars are playing some of their best hockey entering the 2013 Girls’ Varsity State Tournament, which begins today and runs through Sunday at Bergman Arena.
The Lady All-Stars put together a 13-7-1 record during the regular season to earn the second seed for the season-ending event.
“The No. 2 seed puts us in awful good shape,” Huron coach Charlie Miner said. “There’s six top teams with a three-way tie for the third seed, so being the second seed is good for us.”
The Lady All-Stars will open the eight-team tournament against the seventh-seeded Rushmore Thunder, which is 5-13-2, at 5:30 p.m. today.
The opening game of the tournament at 12:30 p.m. today will involve fourth-seeded Sioux Falls (10-8-1) and No. 5 Watertown (10-8). Oahe (11-9-1), which held the edge in the tie-breaker for the third seed, will face No. 6 Mitchell (8-10-3) at 3 p.m. and top-seeded Brookings (18-1-1) will play No. 8 Aberdeen (4-15-1) at 8 p.m. in the final game.
“It’s really going to be a tight tournament,” Miner said. “There’s never been a tournament, where the teams have been this close.”
While the Lady All-Stars would like nothing better than to play for a state championship on their home ice, Miner said the team’s focus is solely on its opening game.
“Winning that first game is our focus.,” he said. “We need to win that one to get on the right side of the bracket where we want to be. Then we’ll take it step by step.”
Huron should be able to head into its first game with a lot of confidence after sweeping Rushmore in three games to close the regular season. The scores from those games were 5-2, 6-0 and 8-1.
“It gives us a lot of confidence,” Miner said of facing Rushmore in the opening round. “We played really well offensively in those games. It’s an added bonus for us to get to play them right away.”
Paige Small scored nine of her 13 goals this season for the Lady All-Stars during the final three games. Hope Goethel led Huron in scoring this season with 20 goals, while Jordan Miller added 12 goals and had a team-high eight assists.
Also adding punch for the Lady All-Stars offensively were Brook Tschetter and Ashtyn Cobb with six goals and three assists each. Anna Scheibe had five goals and three assists.
Recording seven assists apiece this season for Huron were Small, Goethel and Ashley Waagen.
Also playing a major role in the team’s success this season was goalie Erin Scheibe, who recorded 491 saves throughout the regular season. She stopped nearly 89 percent of the shots she faced.
“This is the most complete team that I have had the privilege to coach,” Miner said. “From top to bottom we have some really outstanding players.”
The Lady All-Stars will undoubtedly be looking to use the location of the tournament as a motivating factor.
“It’s good to be playing in Huron,” Miner said.
“Playing in our own rink is a big advantage.”
The tournament will continue on Saturday with the consolation semi-final games scheduled for 12:30 and 3 p.m. and the semifinals slated for 5:30 and 8 p.m.
The seventh-place game is scheduled for 8 a.m. Sunday, followed by the consolation championship at 10:30 p.m. The third-place matchup is scheduled for 1 p.m., with the championship to be decided at 3:30 p.m.
For the complete article see the 03-01-2013 issue.
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