Girls Hockey vs. Northern Lakes
The University School co-op girls’ hockey team was not ready to capitulate.
After losing their first game in the Open American Division of the Schwan Cup Tournament at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minnesota on Wednesday, the Wildcats decided they were going to go on the ice on Thursday, December 27th and skate to victory. They took a 3-1 lead but surrendered two third period goals to the Northern Lakes Lightning of Pequod Lakes, Minnesota. Refusing to give in, the Wildcats rallied. They scored the winning goal of the non-conference clash late in the third period to defeat the Lightning, 4-3 and move into the tournament’s Consolation Championship game on Friday.
“I think it was a very back and forth game,” said Jenna Klenz, one of the Wildcats’ captains, “but we really came together as a team and kept persevering to get the victory.”
The Wildcats demonstrated their desire to win the game by out shooting Northern Lakes 41-15.
They also scored the only goal of the first period to take an early lead. Senior defenseman Libby Hennelly started the play by skating into the Lightning’s zone and dumping the puck around the boards deep into the left corner. Freshman Molly Guenther sped in to forecheck and forced a Lightning defenseman to lose the puck. Senior Karly Lamoreaux got it and took an off angle shot from the goal line. The rebound off the pads of the Lightning’s eighth grade goalie, Kate Stephens, bounced out. Guenther snared the puck and fired a shot inside the far post at 4:18.
The Lightning tied the score at 1-1 in the opening minutes of the second period. They dumped the puck into the Wildcats’ end and zoomed in on the forecheck. A Wildcat defenseman desperately tried to clear the puck, but junior defenseman Ari Lemieur stopped it at the blue line. She stepped in and lined a low shot past USM’s freshman goaltender, Sami Stommel, at 1:56. Junior Caitlyn Gutzman was awarded an assist on the play.
The Wildcats were taken aback, but they kept at it. They outshot the Lightning 20-6 in the second period and eventually netted two of those shots.
Sophomore Zoe Neudorfer snagged a loose puck in the Lightning’s zone, skated in, and fired a shot at Stephens. A defenseman shoveled the puck away from danger toward the right mid-boards. Sophomore Layne Diffley caught the clear, skated into the right circle, and took another shot as sophomore Eiley Sheahan burst toward the net from the right corner. The rebound and Sheahan arrived in the low slot at the same time. Sheahan showed her gratitude for the opportunity by shooting the puck into the net at 13:40.
The Wildcats increased their lead to 3-1 just over a minute later while on the power play. As the Wildcats moved the puck around in the Lightning’s end, a pass to the right point skipped over Klenz’s stick. No problem. Klenz dashed out into center ice, and, like a Postal Service employee, she collected the puck. She skated to the left side, waiting for her teammates to get onside. She then sped into the zone, stickhandled past two defenders, and rocketed a shot into the upper corner of the net at 14:58.
Between periods the USM coaches warned the Wildcats that they couldn’t gloat; the game was not yet over. In the third period, the Lightning proved their point by striking for two goals.
Near the USM blue line, eighth grader Rose Aldridge knocked the puck past a pinching defenseman. Junior Hayden Boelter dashed to get it along the left boards and headed toward the Wildcats’ goal on a two-on-one with freshman Riley Fogarty. As Boelter moved into the left circle, she dished the puck to Fogarty, who proceeded to deke Stommel and put the puck into the net at 6:12.
The Lightning scored again at 8:15. They were shorthanded at the time. Sophomore penalty killer Savannah Abear knocked the puck from the Lightning zone and raced to it. She fought off an attempt to stop her along the boards and skated into the Wildcats’ zone on a breakaway. Stommel stopped her shot, but Abear sped to the rebound. She then passed it to Fogarty, who had moved into the slot all alone. Fogarty fired and tied the game at 3-3.
But the Wildcats were still on the power play, and they were not going to let the Lightning kill it. As the Wildcats applied pressure in the Lightning’s zone, sophomore Jordan Bonk got the puck in the left corner. She skated toward the blue line. As she did, she exchanged the puck with senior Gaby Turer who was hustling in from the point. Turer turned into the circle and sped toward the net. As freshman Natalie Epperson screened Stephens, Turer fired and put the game-winner inside the far post at 10:01.
The Lightning tried to tie the score again. They pulled Stephens late in the game, but two ensuing penalties left them shorthanded, allowing the Wildcats to emerge from the battle victoriously.
Northern Lakes is now 5-6-1. The Lightning play Henry Sibley Saint Paul Blades of St. Paul in the final round of the Open American Division of the Schwan Cup Tournament at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, December 28th at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minnesota.
USM is 8-4. The Wildcats move on to play Owatonna High School of Owatonna, Minnesota in the Consolation Championship game of the Open American Division of the Schwan Cup Tournament. The non-conference game is scheduled to be played at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, December 28th at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minnesota.
Team Period Time Type Goal Scorer Assist
USM 1 4:18 ES Molly Guenther Karly Lamoreaux
NL 2 1:46 ES Ari Lemieur Caitlyn Gutzman
USM 2 13:14 ES Eiley Sheahan Layne Diffley
USM 2 14:58 PP Jenna Klenz
NL 3 6:12 ES Riley Fogarty Hayden Boelter
NL 3 8:35 SH Fogarty Savannah Abear
USM 3 10:59 PP Gaby Turer Jordan Bonk
Team Goalie Saves
USM Sami Stommel 15
NL Katie Stephens 37