MISSOULA — Ask any team that’s tried, it’s never easy to repeat as champions.
The Missoula Lady Bruins hockey team did just that, and the players will tell you that they took everyone’s best shot this season.
“All the teams that didn’t win, they’re out for you, they want to beat you,” said Misosula Hellgate senior Elise Marquardt. “And you don’t want to come out too cocky, because you won last year and you know that you have such a good team, so it’s just playing with your heart.”
The Lady Bruins captured their second consecutive state hockey championship on Sunday, and the tournament favorites finished unbeaten in the bracket in Bozeman, shutting out the hosts 2-0 for a second straight day.
Junior Sid Triepke and sophomore Jaden Nielsen said it’s the bond these girls share that gives them so much fire out on the ice.
“The whole year our team’s really bonded and we’ve gotten super close, and so it’s allowed us to play really well on the ice,” Nielsen said.
“I think that we’ll have to work harder as a team and maintain our closeness and ensure that we’re conditioned and working together as a team instead of individually,” Triepke said.
The Bozeman coaching staff selected Triepke as the MVP of the championship game and Nielsen as the winner of the Hustle Award. Nielsen made an incredible comeback this season after having knee surgery last May.