The Shakopee girls hockey team finished 2021 winning four of its last six games.
Can the Sabers continue the momentum into the New Year with hopes of becoming a factor come time for the Section 2AA tournament?
Through 14 games, Shakopee is averaging just 2.8 goals a game. The team will need to score more to be a challenger in the postseason.
Third-ranked Minnetonka (11-2 overall) and No. 9 Holy Family (10-2-1) look to be the two section favorites. The Sabers (6-8) lost to both squads, falling 6-0 to the Skippers Dec. 7 and 4-1 to the Fire back on Nov. 18.
Those two squads are headed for the top two seeds in Section 2AA, while the Sabers could be in the No. 3 to 5 range at this point. Bloomington Jefferson (9-6-1), New Prague (7-3-3), Chaska/Chanhassen (6-8), Eden Prairie (4-9) and Prior Lake (2-8-1) are also in the field.
Shakopee closed out 2021 going 1-2 in the Eagles Mid-Winter Meltdown at the Eden Prairie Community Center Dec. 28-30. The Sabers lost their first two games — 4-0 to North Wright County and 7-2 to Cretin-Derham Hall — before earning a 9-5 victory over Minneapolis.
Senior Riley Peterson and junior Raegen Nash each had a hat trick in the win over Minneapolis, while adding an assist. Junior Annika Willmert had four assists.
Sophomore Breklyn Skattum finished with two goals and an assist, while senior Olivia Grabianowski had a goal and two assists. Senior Edie Schmidt had two assists, while sophomore Allison Parker, junior Rilee Nash and senior Holly Schmidt each had one.
Senior Alex Boots finished with 28 saves in goal.
In the loss to Cretin-Derham Hall, it was a 2-2 game after two periods before the Raiders scored five goals in the third. Peterson and Grabianowski had the Sabers’ goals. Peterson and ninth-grader Hannah Grabianowski each had assists.
Boots finished with 32 saves. She had 22 stops in the loss to North Wright County.
Shakopee won its last South Suburban Conference game in 2021. Schmidt had three assists to spark a 5-3 home win over Lakeville North Dec 21.
The Grabianowski sisters, Willmert, Nash and junior Emma Heyer each had one goal. Olivia Grabianowki, Willmert, ninth-grader Callie Peterson and senior Penny Berens each had assists.
Boots finished with 14 saves in goal.
Shakopee entered 2022 with a 4-4 record in conference play. Eighth-ranked Lakeville South was leading the league heading into the New Year with an 8-0 mark.
The Sabers have had a winning record in 16 of their last 17 seasons, so Shakopee will have to finish strong to get over the .500 mark before the postseason.
Section 2AA quarterfinal play starts Feb. 11. The semifinals are Feb. 13, while the title game is Feb. 18.
This year’s Class 2A state tournament is set for Feb. 23-26 at the Xcel Energy Center. Andover is the defending champion.