Tigers earn OT win over Spartans

Published 12:30 am Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Albert Lea girls’ hockey team prevailed in the clutch during the end of regulation and overtime to rally for a 3-2 win over Rochester Mayo at Roy Nystrom arena on Saturday.

“This win was huge for our team morale,” Albert Lea head coach Paul Willett said. “It was a big lift for the girls to hang tough against an excellent opponent, and do the little things needed to win.”

The Spartans were 72 seconds away from a 2-1 victory, when a goal from Albert Lea’s Anna Anderson knotted the score at two.

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In overtime, Anderson struck again. This time, it was even more dramatic, as she found the net with only 1.2 seconds remaining.

The shot was made possible with multiple rebounds and shots on goal in the final moments.

Anna Anderson, an Albert Lea junior defenseman and captain, goes on the offensive earlier this season against Owatonna. Anderson scored the game-winning goal and the goal that forced overtime at the end of regulation against Rochester Mayo. -- Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

“Sydney Overgaard entered the offensive zone and threw a shot on net,” Willett said. “She picked up her own rebound in the corner and cycled the puck back to Hannah Savelkoul, who fired another shot on the net.

“Anderson broke in from the point, gathered Savelkoul’s rebound, decked the goaltender and scored with a quick backhand shot.”

Anderson’s pair of goals led the Tigers offensively, while Savelkoul added one goal and two assists. Overgaard also earned a pair of assists.

“After going through a scoring slump, we’re finally getting pucks in the net again and crashing hard for rebounds,” Willett said. “We’re doing the little things offensively that make a difference come playoff time.”

Albert Lea’s defense also stepped up. Sophomore goalkeeper Katie Schwartz totaled 32 saves.

“We’ve continued to steadily improve in our defensive zone, which allows us to keep games close against opponents with more depth,” Willett said.

Willett praised the play of his second line: Anna Englin, Taylor Thompson and Ashley Willett. He also said several young players are significantly contributing: Haley Harson, Maddy Funk and Holly Wichman.

The Tigers began the season with a 6-3 record, and they have fought through illness and injury in January. The victory shattered a six-game losing streak.

The game was played as the nightcap of the Albert Lea Girls’ Hockey Association’s “All Girls’ Hockey Weekend.”