Tigers take down Scarlets
Published 10:16 pm Saturday, December 13, 2014
A three-goal outburst in the first period along with stingy defense propelled the Albert Lea girls’ hockey team to its second straight win.
“I think they’re starting to gain some confidence and realize that we need to believe in each other and play as a team to have success,” said Albert Lea coach Jason Fornwald.
Hannah Savelkoul led the Tigers (3-9 overall, 2-6 Big Nine Conference) with a pair of goals and assists Saturday during a 5-1 win over Mankato West (1-10 overall, 0-6 Big Nine Conference) at Albert Lea City Arena.
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Maddi Hererra had a goal and two assists, Maddy Carstens added goal and an assist and Anna Englin scored the final goal of the game on a power play.
Englin, a senior, Maddy Funk, a sophomore, and Hannah Johnson, a freshman, comprise a group that Fornwald referred to as the red line.
“They’ve been working their tails off,” Fornwald said. “We need that line to be able to stick with any other line that we come up against. They’ve been doing that and then some these last few games.”
Being friends with other members of her line off the ice helped with communication, Englin said. She also noted that Fornwald has been a positive influence on the sideline.
“He’s really helping us come together as a team and play with integrity and respect,” Englin said.
The Tigers swept the two-game regular-season series against the Scarlets with the same score in both games. The Scarlets hosted the first game on Nov. 6.
“We’ve changed a lot of things since the first time we played Mankato West,” Fornwald said. “So I think this reaffirms the fact that we’re going in the right direction.”
After winning their first game of the season against the Scarlets, the Tigers went on a nine-game skid. Albert Lea’s turnaround started in an unlikely game, a 13-0 loss on Dec. 4 at Red Wing, Fornwald said.
Facing off against a team loaded with college prospects, the Tigers limited the Wingers to one goal in the third period.
“Going back to the Red Wing game, that was the best we’ve played all year,” Fornwald said. “Red Wing is a phenomenal team. They didn’t let up, and our team only gave up one goal in the third period. That showed a ton of character, and we’ve built off that period.”
The Tigers’ offense came alive in their next game, a 4-3 overtime loss at Luverne, where they scored more goals than they had in the previous four games combined.
“That game just as easily could’ve gone in our direction,” Fornwald said.
Next, Albert Lea will play at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Winona (3-8 overall, 3-7 Big Nine Conference). The Winhawks defeated the Tigers 6-0 on Nov. 15. However, since that win, Winona has gone 1-6 and has been outscored 32-7.
Statistics are in the Scoreboard: Dec. 13 post.