Rolling into a rematch

Published 8:36 am Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Albert Lea girls’ hockey players celebrate a goal in their season opener against New Prague at Roy Nystrom Arena. The Tigers went 4-5-1 over its final 10 games this season after starting 1-14 and face Northfield tonight at 7:30 p.m. -- Andrew Dyrdal/Albert Lea Tribune

The Albert Lea girls’ hockey team, fresh off a 3-2 upset of 11th-ranked Mankato East, opens the Section 1A Tournament at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Northfield.

The postseason opener is a rematch of an early-season matchup between the No. 3-seeded Raiders (8-15-1) and No. 6 Tigers (5-19-1). Northfield beat Albert Lea 4-1 on Nov. 19 at Roy Nystrom Arena.

Albert Lea’s Anna Anderson (11) looks toward the puck earlier this season against Rochester Century.

The Raiders began the season ranked 17th in Class A, and its win over the Tigers was its first of the season and the start of a four-game winning streak. After Northfield began the season 4-1, though, it lost five straight and finished the season 4-14-1 overs its final 19 games.

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The Raiders are currently on a five-game losing streak.

The Tigers’ season was much different than the Raiders’, as it began 1-14 but finished 4-5-1 over its final 10 games.

The Tigers were 2-6 against section opponents and Northfield was 4-4. The Raiders were 3-0 against Big Nine Conference opponents with wins over Albert Lea, Faribault and Austin. The Tigers were 5-12-1 in the Big Nine.

The Raiders outshot the Tigers 37-17 in the teams’ lone matchup this season, and Northfield scored three third-period goals to break a 1-1 tie.

Anna Anderson scored the only goal for the Tigers, which averaged 1.8 goals this season and allowed 4.7, the most in the Big Nine.

Northfield averaged 2.6 goals this season and allowed 4.2, and two goals each from Annie Pumper and Laine Fischer in the win over Albert Lea.

The winner of the matchup faces the winner of No. 7 Faribault at No. 2 New Prague.


By the numbers

3 third-period goals lifted No. 17 Northfield to a 4-1 win over Albert Lea on Nov. 19.
4 wins for Albert Lea over its final 10 games after winning one over its first 15.
4 wins for Northfield over its final 19 games after starting season 4-1.