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Minnesota Class 2A girls hockey state final: Gentry Academy defeats Andover

The Stars take the Class 2A title in their third season as a program

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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The No. 4-seeded Gentry Academy Stars defeated the No. 2-seed Andover Huskies 4-1 in the Class 2A state championship at the Xcel Energy Center.

Coming off a perfect year in 2022, a season which saw the Huskies capture its first state championship in program history, Andover was defending its championship, this time against the Class 2A newcomers Gentry Academy. Gentry Academy's second season in the class has resulted in immediate success as the Stars were looking to cap year two with a state championship.

Midway through the first period, Gentry Academy took advantage of the games first power play. A beautiful give-and-go chance from Grace Hanrahan to Cara Sajevic hit the post, but the semifinal hero Alexa Hanrahan was there on the doorstep to put it away, giving the Stars a 1-0.

“I just tried to get it on net, and it went in,” Hanrahan said.

The lead was short lived though for the Stars. Just five minutes later the Huskies responded. Andover senior Hannah Christenson threw a puck on net from a sharp angle that tipped off a Gentry Academy forward and ended up in the back of the net to make it 1-1 after one period.

Gentry Academy started to open the offense in the second period as Hanrahan notched her second goal of the game. The Gentry Academy forward raced into the Andover zone and ripped a bullet on net that zipped by the Husky goaltender to give the Stars a 2-1 lead midway through the second. 

Just three minutes later, it was the Stars again, this time Hanrahan was on the assisting end as she hit Delmonico in stride on a two-on-one, and all Delmonico had to do was lift it over the Husky goaltender to give Gentry Academy a 3-1 lead late in the second.

“I told myself to just get it over to [Hanrahan] because it would be hard for the goalie to stop it once it moved across the ice," Hanrahan said.

With two minutes to go in the second, Andover committed two consecutive penalties to give the Stars a two-man advantage for a brief moment. The Huskies were able to stand tall and kill the penalties to keep the deficit at two goals heading into the third period.

“That would've been a dagger if we got another goal,” Gentry Academy head coach Billy Hengen said. “We had a grade A scoring chance on the right side, and we almost got that dagger."

Watching its title chances slip away, Andover picked up the aggression in the third period. Unfortunately for the Huskies, they couldn't stay out of the penalty box. Every time Andover had seemed to capture some momentum it would give it all back by committing reckless penalties.

“We gave it away midway through the third with a couple of penalties that were called,” Husky head coach Melissa Volk said. “I think our whole team can attest that we didn't play our best hockey”

Though the Stars were not able convert on the power plays it was given, they were able to kill precious time off the clock, inching its way closer to the final horn.

Andover pulled its goaltender with two minutes to go in the third in an attempt to find a goal. Rather fittingly, it was Gentry Academy forward Hanrahan who scored on the empty net from across the ice to give herself a hat trick, and ultimately Gentry Academy the Class 2A state championship. The Stars would hang on to win 4-1.

“I had to hold back tears on the bench," Hengen said. “There's just something special about winning the double A title.”