Alexandria allowed just two goals, one of which was into an empty net, in a 2-0 loss to the number three seed St. Paul United in the quarterfinals of the Class A Girls' State hockey Tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul Wednesday afternoon.
The Spartans held off late pressure from the Cardinals to preserve the victory.
Joie Phelps scored a late first period goal giving United a 1-0 lead, which turned out to be the game winner. The Spartans, ranked 5th in the final Let's Play Hockey poll, got off to a strong start firing 17 first period shots at Alexandria’s goalie Amy Jost.
SPU senior goalie Catherine Johnson recorded the shutout making 23 saves in the game.
Johnson had to stand firm as her teammates took three third period penalties, including two in the final four minutes of the game. When the Cardinals pulled Jost they were skating 6 on 4, but were unable to get the equalizer.
Samantha Burke gave her team a two goal lead when she got a unassisted, shorthanded goal into the empty net with just 31 seconds remaining.
Alexandria was outshot 32-23, with the senior Jost making 30 saves in one of her final appearances as a Cardinals' netminder.
The Spartans will face Warroad in the semifinals Friday at 11am. Alexandria takes on Northfield, which lost to Warroad 3-0 in the quarterfinals.