There was a feeling late in the Section 6A semifinals on Tuesday that maybe this could be the Morris Benson Area Storm girls hockey team's night and its year.
The Storm hit the wall in the same game last year, falling to Fergus Falls in the section semifinals, and it appeared the team would do anything but fall apart after recovering from a third-period swoon with a quick power play goal by Sam Falk late in the game that forced the defending Class A state champions from Alexandria into overtime.
But almost as quickly, the Storm's season was over.
The Cardinals' Michelle Anez scored the game's first goal and she also notched its last, 49 seconds into the extra period, for a 5-4 win over the Storm at the Runestone Community Center.
Alexandria, which essentially started over with a young team this year, improved to 12-14 overall. The Cardinals will play Fergus Falls on Friday for the Section 6A championship. A win would give Alexandria its sixth straight section title.
The Storm had a 12-game winning streak snapped and finished 19-5.
Anez scored the game's first goal in the first period and the Cardinals led 1-0 after one period.
The Storm were literally that in the second period, getting three straight goals from Falk, Katia Vantries and an unassisted goal from Dani Staples that staked MBA to a 3-1 lead after two.
But the Cardinals returned the favor, scoring three straight goals in the third period. Alia Kopischke's goal at 11:47 of the third put Alexandria ahead 4-3.
But the Storm didn't cave. Working the puck in the Cardinals' end, the Storm's Sara Rajewsky drew a penalty for checking on Anez, and Falk capitalized just four seconds into the power play, beating Alex goalie Stephanie Drown to tie the game 4-4.
But Anez needed little time to score her 31st goal of the season and win the game. Teammate Allyson Nielson worked the boards behind the Storm net and tried to beat Storm goalie Brooke Falk on a wrap-around shot. Falk made the save but Anez poked the puck past her just 49 seconds into OT.
Alexandria 5, MBA Storm 4, OT
Scoring by period
1. Alex -- Michelle Anez (unassisted).
2. MBA -- Sam Falk (Dani Schultz, Kelly Mahoney) 0:18; 3. MBA -- Katia Vantries (Sara Rajewsky) 9:49; 4. MBA -- Dani Staples (unassisted) 13:46.
5. Alex -- Brittany Lind (unassisted) 2:41; 6. Alex -- Breanna Lind (Beth Rindy) 4:24; 7. Alex -- Alia Kopischke (Breanna Lind, Alexis Nielson) 11:47; 8. MBA -- Sam Falk (Schultz, Staples) 13:17.
9. Alex -- Anez (Nielson) 0:49.
MBA -- Brooke Falk 26 saves. Alex -- Stephanie Drown 11 saves.
MBA one for 2 minutes. Alex four for 8 minutes.