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Marlin girls seeded sixth headed into state tourney

Mitchell's Bailey Hohn goes after the puck against an Oahe player during a girls' varsity hockey game earlier this season at the Mitchell Activities Center.(Brooke Cersosimo/Republic)

After finishing runner-up for the past two seasons, the Mitchell Marlin girls' varsity hockey team is looking to break the trend.

"These girls know what it's all about and I'm hoping their experience will pay big dividends for us," head coach Randy Rezac said. "It's a very tight league where anyone can win, but we're going to go for the dance."

The Marlins are seeded sixth in the state girls' varsity hockey tournament and will play third-seeded Oahe (11-9-1) in the first round at 3 p.m. today in Huron.

Rezac said his team has been working to prepare for the final tournament of the season.

"We've been working on defense because we want to make sure we shut down our opponent's good, quality shots."

The Marlins finished their season 8-10-3 and went 0-2-1 in head-to-head games against Oahe during the season.

"They have a very good goalie and we're going to have to be on our game," Rezac said. "The girls are upbeat and ready for it."

Mitchell is led by junior Haley Stahl with 22 goals and seven assists on the year. Sophomore Kylie Barington followed with 12 goals and a team-high 10 assists.

Senior goalie Hannah Spates has led the Marlins in the net with 577 saves on the season, while Cara Beck saved 39 shots on goal in one varsity game.

For seniors Spates, Kassi Barington, Rachelle Zimmer, Karissa Beck, Ashley Murtha and Cara Beck, the state tournament is their final weekend in a Marlin uniform.

"They are especially driven to perform well this weekend," Rezac said. "And I hope we have a good weekend for them."

Brookings is the top-seeded team in the state tournament and is followed by Huron as the second seed. The Marlins are ahead of Rushmore, which is the seventh seed, and Aberdeen, which is eighth.

Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.