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Defending 1A champ Blake earns chance for a repeat

02/24/2017, 3:45pm CST
By Heather Rule, special to the Star Tribune

Goaltender Olivia Bizal made 15 saves as the Bears spread the scoring around in a 4-1 victory over Northfield.


Blake's goalie Olivia Bizal (1) made a save as Northfield's Maddie LaPanta followed her shot during the third period. Photo: Kyndell Harkness * kyndell.harkness@startribune.com

Blake senior center Lucy Burton scored her 25th goal of the season with a backhand shot to give the Bears a 3-0 lead in the Class 1A semifinal against Northfield. Afterward, she was quick to spread the praise.

“I have to give basically almost all the credit to our defense, Sarah Chute,” said Burton, adding that Chute got the puck in the neutral zone before they made eye contact and Burton broke for the net.

It’s that defense that’s been part of the success for the top-seeded Bears (26-2-1), who got points from eight players in a 4-1 victory over the Raiders Friday at Xcel Energy Center. Most notably, C.C. Wallin and Chute moved to defense this season after playing forward last year. They each notched an assist Friday.

Wallin was a defenseman as a youth player and returned to that position for most of this season.

“It’s nice to get back there, and I love playing with Sarah,” Wallin said.
Having experienced players helped in the game, “where we don’t have the jitters,” Bears coach Shawn Reid said.

The Raiders (20-7-3) scored a power-play goal with 1:31 left off Brynn Puppe’s stick. The Raiders had not lost a game since Dec. 27 but faced a good, deep team in Blake, Raiders coach Brent Bielenberg said.

“When you have teams that can skate, they take away time and space,” Bielenberg said. “Blake is just a solid team all the way through.”

In a rematch of last year’s Class 1A final, the Bears will face St. Paul United with a shot at their fourth title in five years and seventh overall in 10 state tournament trips.

HEATHER RULE

First report

Eight different players earned points in Blake's 4-1 victory Friday in the Class 1A semifinal at Xcel Energy Center. Sophomore goaltender Olivia Bizal made 15 saves to stop No. 5 seed Northfield (20-7-3).

Freshman Lily Delianedis got the scoring started for the Bears (26-2-1) with a power-play goal in the second period. Sophomore Madeline Wethington put them up 2-0 later in the period, and senior Lucy Burton made it 3-0 with a backhand shot late in the third period. Addie Burton added an empty-netter.

The Raiders scored a power-play goal with 1:31 left off Brynn Puppe’s stick.

The title game will be a rematch of last year’s Class 1A final. Blake will face St. Paul United as it tries try to win its seventh title in 10 state tournament trips. 

Check back later for more on the game.

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