MISSOULA — The chase for a third straight state championship started with an avalanche for the Missoula Lady Bruins U19 team Friday.
The Missoula Amateur Hockey Association's team to beat exploded for 25 goals on a day to remember at Glacier Ice Rink. The Lady Bruins whipped sixth-seeded Butte in the afternoon, 12-2, then dumped fourth-seeded rival Glasgow in front of a large evening crowd, 13-0.
"I think we caught them by surprise because that was not the score I was expecting," Missoula coach Grace Hoene said of her team's evening shutout, which catapulted it into the state semifinals Saturday at 4:15 p.m. "I knew we would probably win but I did not think we were going to blow them out.
"That was impressive."
Topping the list of hometown standouts was Missoula Hellgate senior Sid Triepke. She scored four goals against Glasgow after racking up four goals and five assists against Butte.
"They're a real aggressive team, they skate hard and there's no quit in that team," Glasgow coach Paul Provencher said of the Lady Bruins. "They have a lot of good players and they shoot the puck a lot. They're quick to the puck.
"And they don't give up too much. They've got a solid goalie and we couldn't keep the play in our zone."
Aubrey McKay was in net for Missoula in the evening game and she stopped all seven shots she faced. She spent most of the night watching her teammates move the puck on Glasgow's end.
"Everyone showed up to play and played with intensity every single shift," Hoene said of her team. "We're just moving the puck, unselfish play. If there's a pass to be made, they make it.
"All of our skaters are very skilled skaters. They could try if they wanted to try to dangle through everyone if they wanted to and most of the time probably be successful. But we're even better when they pass the puck to their teammates."
The Lady Bruins, who will likely play Kalispell Flathead in the semifinals Saturday and appear destined to duel Bozeman in the title game Sunday at noon, had six players light the lamp in the night game. Joining Triepke were Shaye Ewing with five goals and Waverly Winterer, Andi Carnes, Frances Carrasco and Dora McDougall with one goal apiece.
Carrasco tallied three goals in the afternoon game. Missoula held a 66-11 edge in shots over Butte and goalie Natalie Herr made nine saves.
"It went about the way we expected it," Hoene said. "Not a super-challenging game for us but it was good to get the first-game jitters out.
"We controlled the puck the entire game. We had some really nice team play and good passing."
Notes: All games are free at Glacier Ice Rink and there are opportunities to support the Lady Bruins fundraising for their trip to nationals in late March ... MAHA will honor the seniors from all the teams on Saturday at 3:45 p.m. Missoula seniors who will be recognized are Hellgate's Triepke, Hanna Huang and Andi Carnes ... There are six teams in the U19 division ... Other Friday scores: U19-Flathead 3, Havre 0; Bozeman 4, Flathead 2. U14-Missoula 5, Flathead 1; Missoula 4, Miles City 1; Bozeman 5, Miles City 5; Bozeman 9, Flathead 1.