The Faribault Falcons defeated the Austin Packers 2-1 while the Rochester Lourdes Eagles got by the Albert Lea Tigers 3-0 in Section 1A Semifinal games Saturday.  The Falcons and Eagles play for the Section title Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in Owatonna.

The Falcons were rated #14, Eagles #8 in the latest Let's Play Hockey rankings.  Lourdes defeated Faribault 4-0 in their regular season meeting.  3 of their 4 goals were on the power play.

Both semifinal games had dominant performances by the winners with the losing teams getting outstanding goalie work.  Faribault outshot Austin 41-21.  Rochester Lourdes outshot Albert Lea 48-10.

The Falcons had quality shot after quality shot in the first period at the Faribault Ice Arena stopped by junior Packers goalie Shelby Davidson.  18 total shots on goal in the period.  Austin took 5 total shots and had a 1-0 lead at the end of the period.

It was a power play goal scored with :10 left in the period.  Austin junior Alexis Stich planted herself in front of the goal.  With her skates she appears to be over six feet tall and Faribault senior goalie Mikayla Bohner told me following the game she is 5'0 tall.

I asked Bohner if her view was blocked and she couldn't recall saying she thought she saw the initial shot taken from her left between the red circle and the blue line.

The goal was scored by junior Kate Holtz assisted by Jordyn McCormack the top two scorers for the Packers this season.

Faribault's first goal came 5:44 into the second period when senior Olivia Williamson by the pipe to the right of the goalie made a pass to 8th grader Isabelle Stephes moving diagonally toward the net from left to right.  Her shot moved the goalie to her left, the rebound came to 8th grader Grace McCoshen who hammered it to the back of the net to the right side.

12:59 the Falcons got what would be their game winner by junior Rylie Starkson with assists to McCoshen and Olivia Williamson.  Again teamwork brought home that goal with a great pass by Williamson following a shot by McCoshen leading to Starkson's score from the slot.

Both teams had three penalties whistled on them.  Bohner finished the game with 20 saves.  Davidson had 39 saves.

Our Faribault State Farm Insurance agents Faribault players of the game were Grace McCoshen with a goal and assist, Rylie Starkson, her game winner and Mikayla Bohner and her 20 saves.  The Malecha's Auto Body Crunch Time Assist was delivered by Olivia Williamson.

Shots on goal by period were Faribault 18, 9, 14.  Austin 5-9-7.

Austin ended their season 11-15.  The Falcons are 19-5.

The game Thursday will be broadcast on POWER 96 radio, 95.9 FM.  Coverage begins 7:15 p.m.

We could have a doubleheader, Northfield upset Lakeville South 2-1 to advance to the 1AA title game.  The Raiders will play Farmington at 5:00 p.m. in Owatonna Thursday.

The Cougars were the top seed in 1AA and ranked #16 by Let's Play Hockey.  The #2 seed Tigers downed Dodge County 8-3 in the other semifinal.

Farmington and Northfield received votes in the latest rankings.

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