Minnetonka almost never made it to the locker room Thursday evening. The Skippers' pregame rituals took abnormally long to complete, and they must be completed.
"We wouldn't have gotten to the ice if we didn't get the touches," Minnetonka coach Eric Johnson said, igniting laughs from several players surrounding him.
"The touches" refers to a soccer-like ball-passing routine that must be done before Minnetonka can suit up.
Senior forward Amy Petersen wasn't concerned about the time involved; she enjoyed the extra pressure and fun it provided prior to the Skippers beginning their quest for a third consecutive Class 2A championship.
"We have our superstitions and we try and follow up on them," Petersen said.
Thursday's extended pregame routine might become a normal practice. Minnetonka scored three goals in the first period of a 4-0 victory over Irondale.
North Stars connection
Eden Prairie sophomore forward Charly Dahlquist scored her team-leading 28th goal with stickwork befitting her rich hockey bloodlines.
Her father, Chris, was a defenseman for the North Stars in 1991 when the team reached the Stanley Cup Finals.
Charly Dahlquist, one of several solid young players on the Eagles' roster, scored a second-period goal as Eden Prairie blanked Forest Lake 6-0 in the Class 2A quarterfinals. She added two assists.
November rematch in 2A
One of Friday's Class 2A semifinals pits Eden Prairie against Hill-Murray for the second time this season.
They tied 2-2 back in November and both coaches agreed their teams are much different.
"We've evolved as a team," Hill-Murray coach Bill Schafhauser said. "Early on in the season we struggled scoring goals. When we switched Kenzie Prater from defense to center, it really changed the whole dynamic of our team."
Prater, a freshman, centered the Pioneers' top line Thursday and leads the team with 16 assists.
Said Eden Prairie coach Jaime Grossman: "As the year went on, we saw our team get better every day. This past week of practice has been our best all season."