Girls high school hockey fans who braved the beastly weather Thursday night got to witness one of Minnesota's top female athletes, Kelly Pannek and she did not disappoint, scoring the hat trick and picking up two assists to lead the Benilde-St. Margaret's Red Knights to a 7-0 win over the Roseau Rams in the Class AA quarterfinals at the Xcel Energy Center in St.Paul.
Pannek, a finalist for Ms. Hockey, is playing for her second state title of the school year. Last fall, she led the BSM girls soccer team to the Class A title.
Both teams didn't tally in the first period.
In the second period, the Red Knights armor began to shine bright as Catilin Reilly, who will play next season at Penn State, scored the opening goal and assisted on three others. Her goal came on a pass from Pannek and she scored from the left top of the crease. Reilly set up the second goal, passing to Pannek in the center slot and she picked up the goal. Pannek, a Golden Gopher signee went top shelf for her second goal. BSM would pick up their fourth goal as Reilly fed Kassandra Peterson at the left point in front of the Red Knight bench and she lined the puck into the goal.
Brittany Wheeler, credited with two assists in the second period scored the Red Knights first third period goal. Pannek, stationed on the left side of the net, found Wheeler in the center slot and she sent it into the cage. It was also Pannek who picked up the hat trick after receiving a pass from Alicia Praus and she fired it from 7th St. to send the game into running time. Praus would score the game's final goal on a rebound.
Red Knight goalie Abby Miller recorded her seventh shutout of the season and extended her state career record to 30.
BSM out shot Roseau 26-13.
The top seeded Red Knights improved their record to 26-2-1 and will play the winner of the Mounds View-Lakeville North game Friday, February 21 at 8 PM at the Xcel Energy Center. The Rams fell to 16-13 and will play the losing team of that game in the consolation semifinals Friday at noon at Ridder Arena on the University of Minnesota campus.
For one of the few times in a state tournament game, there was no band present from the two schools to play the National Anthem, so a recording was used, which is also common before many high school sporting events.