When senior captain Kelly Pannek netted her third goal of the night, the celebrations were limited. Although the feat of scoring a hattrick in the state final is something to be more than proud of, it was only a consolation for her and the rest of the Benilde-St. Margaret’s girls’ hockey team. The Red Knights’ spectacular season came to a close as they were defeated by the Hill-Murray Pioneers in the Class AA State Final and although the end came as a disappointment, the season will live long in the memory.
The first period began with heavy pressure on the Red Knight goal. Even with a valiant effort from senior goaltender Abbey Miller, who made some spectacular saves throughout the first seventeen minutes, Hill-Murray junior Jess Bonfe rifled two shots into the net. Towards the end of the period BSM managed to pull one back off of a scuffle in front of the Hill-Murray goal, slotted home by Pannek.
The Pioneers continued where they left off in the first period, netting a goal early in the second. Miller continued to make good saves for the Red Knights all throughout the game, making two fantastic breakaway saves before conceding once more prior to the end of the period.
As the third period began, the Red Knights came out hard, playing creative offense and stingy defense. Pannek opened the scoring bringing BSM to within two goals. But soon after the Pioneers restored their three goal lead ending all hope of a Red Knight comeback. Pannek completed her hattrick with only two minutes left to play and with that the game was over.
BSM’s own senior captains Caitlin Reilly and Kelly Pannek were named to the All-Tournament team after the game. Reilly finished the tournament with one goal and three assists, while Pannek scored seven goals and tallied four assists.