ROCHESTER, Minnesota - Goal after goal, win and after win, this season has been special for the Lourdes girls hockey team. After several snow days and cancelled practices, it made it even more sweet when the team won the Section 1A championship. Senior captain Ali Ratzloff remembers the frenzy on the ice.
"We were wanting to be out on the ice when the buzzer rang, we made sure that happened," Ratzloff said. "We were the first ones to hug Corrin [Hanson]. Seeing everyone else out there, it was such an awesome feeling."
The Eagles dominated Faribault in the section title game, knocking home seven goals. After losing that game last season, senior Clara Billings said that loss put a little fire in the team.
"Coming off last season being the runner up, taking second place, we all had something to prove," Billings said. "We wanted to get revenge and I think we surely did that."
Now the team heads to the state tournament for the first since 2006. After years of co-oping with other teams in the Rochester area, Lourdes gets to head to state under their own purple and gold.
"Lourdes never had a program on their own and having embraced it, finally to have our own program for Lourdes girls to wear their colors means a lot to them." Head Coach Jeff True said.
The stage is set this Wednesday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The five-seeded Eagles will play Proctor/Hermantown. Playing on such a big stage, understandably, some nerves can kick in.
"I think the nerves are always there no matter who we're playing or where we're playing and knowing that we're going to be in such a big stage in front of a lot of people that a lot of nerves will be there," Ratzloff said. "I think if we overcome those nerves and just play hard it'll work out for us."
In what could be their last game of the season, Billings has one message for the team.
"Just leave it all on the ice," Billings said.