St. Paul United dismantles Mahtomedi in Section Finals and advances to State

Breandan Gibbons, RubicOnline Editor

Once again, the Road to State is complete for the St. Paul United Girls Hockey team. The team, a co-op between St. Paul Academy and Visitation School of Mendota Heights, beat Mahtomedi 6-0 in a game that was never very close.

Mahtomedi jumped into the game feet first with a lot of pressure in the first minutes of the game. They were an extra step faster, but with that excitement came a lot of mistakes handling the puck and clearing their zone. As the first period progressed that extra step disappeared but

the mistakes in the defensive zone did not.

United scored a shorthanded goal very much against the pace of play when Joie Phelps took the puck on a great forecheck and tossed it to Maggie Connors who sent the puck to the twine.

They ended the period taking full control of the game, spending the last two minutes of the period in the offensive zone cycling the puck and getting shots toward the net. Goaltender Johanna Ficcadenti stood tall, making ten saves in the period.

Eight grade goalie for United, Jillian Oncay did not face a lot of pressure through out the game. But the opportunities the Zephyrs did have, she shut them down.

“This year we had personnel changes and a lot of shifting throughout the year,” senior Clare Tipler said. “We relied on every player from first to third lines. I think the fact that our goalie is an eighth grader really proves that we are a team in the truest sense of the word.”

United used that momentum at the end of the period and turned it into goals in the second period. Jenna Hoops (Vis) scored less than two minutes into a period that saw four pucks fill up the Mahtomedi net.

Senior Clare Tipler scored on a “great” shot from the high slot on the powerplay to make it 3-0, and from that point on United never looked threatened. They outshot the Zephyrs 19-5 in the second period, and 5-3 in a boring third period.

This is United’s second consecutive trip to the state tournament and their third in four years. This year they will look to better last year’s runner-up finish and and get the monkey that is The Blake School off of their back.

“I’m proud to be a part of a team like this that works so hard day after day,” senior Clare Tipler said. After the game assistant coach Julie Friend said a few word to Tipler, “She said that she was proud of me and that I have three games left and to make them count.”

Tipler is a part of senior class that has qualified for the state tournament three times, won two section final games, reached the section finals four times. However, there is one thing they have not done and that is to defeat the defending Class A state champions: The Blake School Bears.

United begins the tournament against Mankato East on Wednesday at 11 am. The school will not be providing transportation to the game, however students can follow The Rubicon on Twitter for updates. Additionally, if they win and play in the semifinal on Friday at 11 am, the school will provide transportation to that game.

Read the full Twitter recap of the game here: