Benilde-St. Margaret's James Callahan (19) drew a penalty for holding Blake's Gavin Best (8) in front of Red Knights goalie Carson Limesand in overtime. A penalty shot was called on the play. Photo: JEFF WHEELER • Jeff.Wheeler@startribune.com
Blake senior forward Gavin Best said his hockey team began this season envisioning a Section 6 title game meeting with Benilde-St. Margaret’s.
No way Best could have foretold his role in the game’s outcome. But there he was, alone on the blue line Wednesday at 3M Arena at Mariucci, readying for a penalty shot in overtime before a standing crowd.
“My legs were shaking; I just kind of took it all in for a second,” Best said.
Then he took off toward Red Knights’ goaltender Carson Limesand. Aware of the unpredictable overtime ice conditions, Best kept things simple. He pulled the puck on his backhand to the right, then came back left to the forehand, putting the puck under Limesand’s legs.
Best’s rare playoff penalty shot secured a 4-3 Blake victory and the program’s first Class 2A state tournament appearance.
“Some of the coaches told me that’s going to be a moment I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” Best said. “Just thinking about that gives me chills a little bit.”
Welcome to the big show, Blake.
Senior forward Gavin Best scored on a penalty shot in overtime for a 4-3 Bears’ victory Wednesday in the Class 2A, Section 6 championship game at 3M Arena at Mariucci.
Blake began opting up in 2017-18 to play against the largest schools by enrollment. The Bears were last at state as a Class 1A team in 2007-08.
No. 1 seed Blake (22-6) trailed 3-2 after two periods. Will Svenddal scored early in the third period to tied the game at 3-3.
Section final losers a year ago, No. 2 seed Benilde-St. Margaret’s (18-8-2) still awaits its first state tournament appearance since winning the championship in 2012.
The Red Knights defeated Blake 2-1 on Jan. 21.
Check back later for more on the game.