Defending state champion and unbeaten Dakota United of Rosemount scored four second-period goals on its way to an 8-1 victory over the Brainerd Warriors in adapted floor hockey Saturday at Riverside Elementary School in Brainerd.
"We were told early on if you can stay within five goals of Dakota United you've played a heck of a game," Warriors coach Bruce Thompson said.
"We played maybe one of our better games of the season and couldn't keep up with them," Thompson added. "That's how good they are."
Nathan Puchalla, with an assist from Jacob Ray, scored the only goal for the Warriors 43 seconds into the second period.
"We were sitting 2-1 and felt pretty good about that, but we couldn't stop the barrage," Thompson said. "They kept the pressure on. It was not so much their shots, but the number of rebound shots. They scored on several of those. That's what killed us if anything.
"They were faster to the puck than we were. They're really quick. They're a very good team."
Andy Herold made 17 saves in goal for Brainerd.
"It could have been worse," Thompson said. "Our goaltending kept us in it. They're big, fast, physical. They interchange three lines. They wore us down."
Dakota United is seeded No. 1, South Suburban of Bloomington No. 2, Anoka-Hennepin No. 3 and Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound/Westonka No. 4 in the state physical impairment division tournament March 18-19 at Stillwater.
Sixth-seeded Brainerd will host No. 12 Wayzata/Minnetonka on a day and time to be determined for a berth in the state tournament. Brainerd defeated Wayzata 10-2 in the regular season.
Dakota United 2 4 2 -- 8
Brainerd 0 1 0 -- 1
First period -- DU 1:23, DU 3:07
Second period -- Brd, Nathan Puchalla (Jacob Ray) :43; DU 2:44; DU 3:16; DU 9:25; DU 14:36
Third period -- DU :51, DU 11:16
Shots on goal -- DU 5-11-7--23, Brd 3-3-1--7
Goalies -- Brd, Andy Herold (17 saves)
Overall -- Brd 7-5-0. Next game -- Wayzata/Minnetonka vs. Brainerd at Riverside Elementary, state playoff game, TBA.
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