Girls Hockey: Four-goal first launches Wingers to victory
Coming off back-to-back losses at the Robbinsdale Tournament, and five losses in eight games dating back to Dec. 12, a fast start and a victory was on the list of important things Friday for the Red Wing girls hockey team.
And in just their third home game since Dec. 5, the Wingers got checked off both of those items with a four-goal first period, and a 5-2 Missota Conference victory over Northfield.
“It was a game we played some of our best hockey of the year at times, (and) we played some of our worst hockey at times,” said Red Wing head coach Scott Haley. “I think some of it’s just that time of year where we’ve been through this a long time and the season is starting to be a little bit of a grind on everybody. That’s to be expected.”
There was not grind in the first period as Red Wing jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from Katelyn Hadler and Nicole Schammel. Hadler’s goal came 6 minutes, 16 seconds into the game, while Schammel lit the lamp 15 seconds later.
Hadler scored again at 13:45 before Emily Stegora sent the Wingers into the intermission with her first goal of the game at 16:30.
“I thought we did some good things,” Haley continued. “We used our points really effectively tonight, and I think that’s when we had that four-goal flourish. We were just really moving the puck and using all five players in the offensive zone.”
The beneficiary of that movement was Hadler, who found the puck on her stick several times. And once she had the puck, Hadler knew what to do with it.
“We moved the puck a lot better, and we’re getting those opportunities on net that we really need,” Hadler said.
But after that flurry in the first, the Raiders calmed down as Red Wing rolled three lines most of the night. But even when the top lines were on the ice, the Wingers dominance waned from near-blowout, to consistent pressure without a payoff.
“The quick start really helped out, because in the second and third period we really didn’t play like what we’re capable of,” Stegora said.
After a 23-6 shots-on-goal advantage for the Wingers through the first 17 minutes, the gap closed to 9-8 in the second. Then the Raiders put 15 shots on net to Red Wing’s 14 in the third.
It wasn’t anything Northfield did, Haley said, though the Raiders did score at 1:07 and 12:22 of the final period to make the game tight before Stegora finished it off with her second goal at 14:03.
“(We) were just a little out of sorts, I wouldn’t say there was any magic thing that they did,” Haley said. “We just didn’t play high-quality hockey the remaining part of the game.”
The Wingers (11-5-0) will hit the road once again to face Henry Sibley (1-14-0) Tuesday in the first of three games next week. Red Wing will host Shakopee (6-8-2) Thursday, then visit Irondale (12-4-0) Saturday.