Girls Hockey vs. Owatonna
Strike fast and reap the rewards seemed to be the theme for the University School co-op girls hockey team on Friday, December 28th.
The Wildcats scored a goal in the first minute of the first period and two goals in the first three minutes of the second period to defeat Owatonna High School of Owatonna, Minnesota, 3-1 in the Schwan Cup Open American Division Tournament in Blaine, Minnesota.
The reward was significant: The Wildcats returned to Milwaukee with the Consolation Championship Trophy as a result of their work ethic in the non-conference victory over the Huskies.
Dan Carey, USM’s head coach, commented on the game, “The girls played very well tonight. They came out ready to go. The girls did the ‘little things’ right tonight; Great backchecks, block shots, and defensive zone coverage made the difference. This tournament was a great event for our girls. They worked hard, played tough, and represented our co-op very well. I think the girls proved to themselves that they can compete at a high level when they work together as a team. This is a great building block for our program as we head into the second half of the season.”
The Wildcats scored their first goal just 30 seconds into the game. As the Owatonna defensemen attempted a cross ice re-group pass at the Huskies’ blue line, sophomore Layne Diffley knocked the puck into the wide opening between the two Huskies. Emily Mueller grabbed the puck. Mueller and fellow sophomore Zoe Neudorfer took off down the center of the Owatonna zone. As a defenseman closed on her, Mueller tapped the puck to Neudorfer, who moved in and rifled a high shot over the blocker of junior Asia Buryska, Owatonna’s starting goalie.
The goal energized the Milwaukeeans, and they proceeded to dominate play. They outshot Owatonna 11-5 and outhustled the Huskies in the remaining 16:30 of the opening period. In the game, they ended up taking a total of 29 shots while limiting Owatonna to 16.
The Wildcats struck again in the beginning of the second period. From the faceoff, the Wildcats sent the puck into the Huskies’ end. Sophomore Jordan Bonk stopped an attempted clear along the right boards just inside the blue line. She flipped the puck past the defenseman to senior Gaby Turer. Turer sped down the boards on a breakaway. Near the bottom of the circle, she cut and skated toward the net. Turer fired a rising shot past Buryska to give the Wildcats a 2-0 advantage just 13 seconds into the new period.
It wasn’t long before the Wildcats had a 3-0 lead. In the Wildcats’ zone, Diffley got a loose puck just inside the blue line. She quickly passed it to senior defenseman Jenna Klenz who was flying out of the zone like a jet on take-off. Klenz roared through center ice then into the Huskies end. As she neared the top of the left circle, Klenz fired a shot, using a defenseman as a screen. Buryska never saw the puck zoom past her and enter the net at 2:27.
The Huskies replaced Buryska with freshman Ava Wolfe at that point in the game. Wolfe was able to thwart every one of the Wildcats’ ensuing attempts to score more.
The Huskies scored their lone goal midway through the second period. Skating out of the Owatonna zone on a three-on-two, freshman Olivia Herzog carried the puck into the Wildcats’ zone. As a defenseman stepped up to check her, Herzog dropped a pass to senior Maylynn Prokopec. Prokopec moved to the top of the right circle and blazed a shot over the glove of USM’s freshman goaltender, Sami Stommel at 8:59.
Between periods, Carey urged the Wildcats to continue the hard-working style of hockey they had put forth throughout the tournament for one final period. The players responded. As they had in the first two periods, they skated hard, both forechecking and backchecking, and never let Owatonna back into the game.
Michaela Fritz, one of USM’s captains, summed up the Wildcats’ three day visit to Minnesota, “I personally believe we played some of our best games of the season this week. We worked as a cohesive unit, communicated, and skated hard.”
Owatonna is now 5-7-2. The Huskies play Austin at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, January 3rd at the Riverside Arena in Austin, Minnesota.
USM is now 9-4. The Wildcats host Hudson in the opening round of the Ticket King Girls High School Hockey Classic at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 5th at USM.
Team Period Time Type Goal Scorer Assist Assist
USM 1 0:30 ES Zoe Neudorfer Emily Mueller Layne Diffley
USM 2 0:13 ES Gaby Turer Jordan Bonk
USM 2 2:27 ES Jenna Klenz Diffley
OHS 2 8:59 ES Maylynn Prokopec Olivia Herzog
Team Goalie Saves Goals Allowed
USM Sami Stommel 16 1
OHS Asia Buryska 13 3
OHS Ava Wolfe 13 0