Girls Hockey: Third period gets away from Red WingEverything fell apart for Red Wing with 10 minutes, 22 seconds remaining in the third period at home.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
Everything fell apart for Red Wing with 10 minutes, 22 seconds remaining in the third period at home.
The Wingers held a 3-1 lead before that point and a 32-22 shot advantage.
But Sarah Larson’s power-play goal gave New Prague hope and plenty of momentum. The sixth-ranked (1A) Trojans kept the pressure on and added two more unanswered goals in the final four minutes of regulation to hand second-ranked (1A) Red Wing a 4-3 loss at Prairie Island Arena, its first Missota Conference defeat of the season.
“Tonight, the better team won,” said Wingers head coach Scott Haley. “We haven’t played really well since the holiday tournament. Since we beat Champlin Park, we’ve had two wins, but they weren’t really quality wins. It kind of continued into tonight. We had plenty of opportunities to finish.”
After the final buzzer sounded, New Prague (16-4-1, 5-1 Missota) celebrated by piling in its crease, another reminder that Red Wing is a team with a target on its back this season. The Wingers success is relatively new, but Tuesday’s reaction shows their place in Minnesota girls hockey.
“It’s a good wake-up call for the kids,” Scott Haley said. “It’s been difficult for us at 18-1. It’s unfamiliar territory for us. But give New Prague credit. I thought they played really well.”
Lindsay Paschke had two goals and an assist to lead the Trojans while Jordan Anderson netted the game-winner with 3:18 remaining in the third period.
Red Wing (18-2, 5-1 Missota) was led by Paige Haley, who scored twice.
In the first few minutes of the opening period, each team got an excellent scoring chance and couldn’t finish. Nicole Schammel hit the pipe on a breakaway and the Trojans missed an open net up close.
Around the 10:40 mark of the first period, the Wingers’ Emily Stegora helped stop a 3-on-1 for the Trojans with a great hustle play and was rewarded on the other end with a breakaway goal 6:33 into the period.
“Emily was probably our best forward tonight, by far,” Scott Haley said. “She does all the dirty work anyway.”
Coming out of the first intermission with a 1-0 lead, Red Wing had trouble controlling a rebound 1:56 into the second period and Paschke banked a shot off Wingers’ goaltender Ashley Corcoran to the tie the game at 1-1.
Red Wing’s Paige Haley responded 28 seconds later by unleashing a rocket from beyond the blue line that whistled past New Prague goalie Sophie Puente for a 2-1 lead.
“I’ve been working on it a lot,” Paige Haley said of her slap shot. “I feel like my slap shot can be a bigger part of my game. … It was a fluky kind of goal but it helped.”
Paige Haley added another goal from the point less than two minutes later to put the Wingers in control up 3-1.
Penalties were an issue for Red Wing in the third period as Hailee Johnson, Schammel and Paige Haley went to the box during a two-minute span when the Trojans climbed back into the game. Larson’s goal came during the first penalty and Wingers fought off a 5-on-3 before allowing the New Prague’s final two goals at even strength.
Puente made 43 saves for the Trojans in the win, while Corcoran stopped 35 shots.
Red Wing didn’t overlook the New Prague, Paige Haley said, but Tuesday’s result will provide extra intrigue for the Section 1A tournament where both teams are expected to meet again.
“We’ll have a ‘come to Jesus’ meeting tomorrow,” she said. “It’s just a test of who will take the next step. I hope we get a shot at them in sections. I’d love to get revenge.”