After four Division I players graduated from last season’s section runner-up team, Blaine girls hockey coach Steve Guider realizes his team is very young.
Blaine completed one of its best regular seasons going 19-3-2 overall and 18-2-1 en route to the Northwest Suburban Conference championship, after finishing the regular season with a 5-1 win over conference runner-up Centennial Feb. 1.
For the third year in a row, Coon Rapids and Blaine met outside in January to renew their girls’ hockey rivalry.
Blaine picked up its ninth win of the season in a 3-1 win over rival Coon Rapids Dec. 14.
For the first time in four years, Blaine (9-4) scored first in the annual Teddy Bear toss game, in which the first goal of the game triggers fans of both teams toss stuffed animals onto the ice. The animals are collected by both teams and donated to area hospitals, police, fire and crisis shelters.
Anoka came into its Section 5AA semifinal game as the top seed while No. 5 seed Blaine looked inferior on paper, despite splitting the season series, of which were both one-goal games and one went into overtime.