A.L. overcomes Century

Published 1:40 am Wednesday, November 28, 2012

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Tigers’ goalie Katie Schwarz made 41 saves Tuesday as the Albert Lea girls’ hockey team beat Rochester Century 3-1.

“It was just an outstanding effort on her end,” Tigers head coach Paul Willett said.

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Schwarz put time in over the summer at a hockey camp and continues to work with assistant coach Laura Hillman to focus on areas of improvement.

“Her improvement has been steady and it really showed out there tonight,” Willett said.

Schwarz had plenty of help at the net, too.

The Tigers have been working on conserving energy and packing on the defense at the goal this season because they have fewer players.

Every time the Panthers were in the Tigers’ zone, defenders were at the net reflecting shots.

“We’re making sure Katie only has to stop the first puck,” Willett said.

The Tigers lived up to Willett’s expectations after a 7-2 loss to Rochester Century in their first game of the year.

“I told the girls before the game, after coaching for 21 years there are days when I get a feeling that we’re going to come out and do something special,” Willett said. “That’s exactly what we did tonight.”

The Tigers’ three goals were all by different scorers. The first one was hit in by Sarah Savelkoul in the second period with assists from her sister, Hannah Savelkoul, and also Sydney Overgaard. The second goal was made by Anna Englin unassisted six minutes later. The Tigers’ final goal was made by Hannah Savelkoul in the third period with an assist from Sarah Savelkoul.

“This is what we’re supposed to be doing” Willett said. “This can’t be a one player team. Everybody wants to talk about Anna Anderson. Anna is an outstanding hockey player but in a tight game like this we have to count on our forwards to put the puck in the net. The line of Sydney Overgaard and the Savelkoul sisters was very good tonight.”

The Tigers were outshot by the Panthers 42-19, but Willett said the scoring opportunities were about equal. The Tigers just capitalized on their opportunities better.

Albert Lea plays again Saturday at Faribault. The game starts at 1 p.m.