Warroad again looking for another Minnesota state Class A girls hockey title this weekend
Warroad opens the tournament against Rochester Lourdes on Friday morning
The Warroad girls hockey team always has an expectation to win the Minnesota state championship and this year is no different. The Warriors -- once again -- are playing dominant hockey heading into the tournament, set to open Friday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Warroad will take on Rochester Lourdes on Friday morning in the quarterfinal round.
“If we lose in the quarters or the semis, it feels like our season is over to be quite honest,” said Warroad coach David Marvin. “We’re used to this. This is what we want. We don’t need the gratification of knowing we can go to a consolation round or a third-place game.”
Since their second consecutive title in 2011, the Warriors have finished in the top three six times but has been unable to claim another championship. This time around, in a particularly challenging year, they are thankful that their elite level of expectations has been able to guide them through adversity.
Typically, the Minnesota high school season would have been done approximately a month ago. So, in an ironic way, COVID has lengthened the season.
“To get to play is all the kids ever wanted,” said Marvin. “They’ve been mentally tough. The last 12 months have been really bad for every teen-ager so this is pretty gratifying now to say we’re getting on a bus to go to St. Paul to play a hockey game..
Driving the metaphorical bus to St. Paul for the Warriors has been the Hendricksons. Genevieve and Talya are the top two scorers who have combined for 44 goals and 107 points in 20 games, accounting for 49 percent of the team’s offensive output.
“They push each other and they get pumped up for each other and that’s pretty cool,” said Marvin..
Genevieve’s career totals are consistent with the many talents that have come from Warroad. Her 59 points rank sixth in the state and during a normal 25-game regular season would have put her on pace for a career-high in her senior season.
Talya, a sophomore, has similar potential and the same work ethic as her sister.
“I don’t know that anyone has worked at their game harder than them,” said Marvin. “They put the time in and they worked their butts off even when there wasn’t much hope in the middle of the summer and last fall. They shot pucks and they worked out every day.”
Even with the large impact the duo has had on the program, the critical production others have had may go unnoticed at times. The top four scorers; Genevieve, Talya, Madison Lavergne and Kate Johnson, are all over 35 points on the season.
To add to that, Reanna Smith and Abby Reule are two sophomores who are hovering around 10 goals and 20 points this year.
“We’ve got a 10th-grade group that is starting to spread their wings,” said Marvin. “They are going to be a force to be reckoned with and really they already are.”