Girls Hockey: Wingers down fifth-ranked BreckGOLDEN VALLEY – Red Wing’s Ashley Corcoran couldn’t be shaken Saturday against Breck.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
GOLDEN VALLEY – Red Wing’s Ashley Corcoran couldn’t be shaken Saturday against Breck.
She stopped 16 shots in the first period and received a gash to the side of her head during the second period, but nothing fazed the sophomore goaltender.
“You just have to shake it off,” Corcoran said of the injury. “If you focus on the injury too much, you’ll focus on that and not the game.”
Corcoran recovered quickly from the shakeup and made 33 saves for the third-ranked Wingers as they took down the defending Class 1A state champions and fifth-ranked Mustangs 4-1.
“She played outstanding the whole game,” Red Wing head coach Scott Haley said. “She was the difference between a win and a loss today. For her to keep them at one goal is pretty impressive. It’s not like they can’t score.”
Junior Nicole Schammel maintained her hold on the state’s scoring lead by adding three more points for the Wingers (13-1) in the win.
University of Minnesota recruit and U.S. Women’s Under-18 team selection Kate Schipper was the only Breck player to puncture Corcoran’s defense with a second-period power-play goal.
The Mustangs (4-8-1) controlled play in the first period, outshooting Red Wing 16-7 but Corcoran held strong in the net and sent the Wingers into the first intermission with a 0-0 tie.
“The defense was playing amazing today,” Corcoran said of having space in the crease to see shots. “I barely saw any screens.”
In the second period, Schammel opened the scoring with a nifty move around two defensemen on the power play and slotted a backhand past the Breck goaltender for a 1-0 lead 5 minutes, 40 seconds into the period.
Schipper answered at the 11:46 mark with a power-play goal as she carried the puck up the side boards and rocketed a slap shot past Corcoran to tie the game at 1-1. Then, with 56.4 seconds remaining in the second, Emily Stegora knocked in a rebound goal on the power play, with the assist to Schammel, to give Red Wing a 2-1 lead into the second intermission. Six penalties were committed by the teams in a feisty second period.
The third period was played mostly to a stalemate as the teams each tallied seven shots on goal but with the Mustangs on a power play, Schammel sent the puck bouncing and skirting into an empty net for the shorthanded goal and a 3-1 lead with 1:11 remaining. Reagan Haley added another empty net goal with 26.2 seconds left with an assist to Paige Haley to clinch the victory.
“We haven’t had a lot of tight games,” Scott Haley said. “It’s crucial to our development.”
A victory against Breck Saturday gives Red Wing another boost after the Wingers hung with second-ranked Blake last Saturday before losing 4-2.
“There’s this pantheon of schools,” Scott Haley said of Breck, South St. Paul and Blake, “and no one’s cracked through the last four years. It’s nice to know we might be in that (group). At some point you have to break through that glass ceiling.”
Red Wing will attempt to keep its momentum Thursday in Armstrong/Cooper Tournament in New Hope, Minn. The Wingers will face Rogers in the first round.