After two periods of scoreless hockey, the South St. Paul Packers exploded for three third period goals to beat the Hibbing/Chisholm Bluejackets 3-0 in the Class A state girls hockey quarterfinals Wednesday night at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Neither team erased the zeros from the large, round scoreboard in the first two periods, though both the Packers and the Bluejackets played outstanding defense. South St. Paul's sophomore goalie Sydney Conley made some outstanding saves and Hibbing/Chisholm played close to the Packers, including a blocked shot by Miranda Garrelts.
South St. Paul, playing in its 13th state tournament, came to life in the third period as Bridgette Miller rebounded riley Miner's missed shot to end the 0-0 deadlock. It was Viner with the second goal after the replay officials reviewed the goal to see if Miller's left skate in the crease would be evidence for disallowing the goal. The decision by the referee was the goal counted. Packers up by two. Once again it was Viner who had a role in South St. Paul's thrid goal. She passed to Lauren Wilcox, Amanda Klennert made the save and Abby Palmquist, daughter of South St. Paul head coach Dave Palmquist put it in the net to end the scoring.
It was the third shutout in the last four games for the Packers, who advanced to the Class A semifinals against Warroad, Friday afternoon at 1 PM at the Xcel Energy Center.
Hibbing/Chisholm will face New Ulm in the Class A consolation semifinals Thrsday at noon at Ridder Arena on the University of Minnesota campus.
Attendance for the evening session was 1,138. The afternoon session drew 2,240 fans bringing the first day total to 3,378.