Tigers stun Cardinals
Published 7:41 pm Tuesday, December 8, 2015
With two seconds left, Luverne had a chance to force overtime and keep its perfect record intact.
However, Albert Lea goalie Maddie Schneider swatted away the final shot to snap the Cardinals’ seven-game winning streak and lift the Tigers to a 3-2 win Tuesday at Albert Lea City Arena.
“What more could you possibly ask of a seventh-grade goaltender (than) to stop one of their best players (Mariah Aukes) on a breakaway with two seconds left in the game?” said Albert Lea coach Jason Fornwald.
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Schneider said she’s been working with the coaching staff to anticipate the angle of shots and challenge skaters looking to score. When time was running out in the third period, she was prepared.
“I was nervous, but if I came out (of the net) I knew that I’d stop it,” Schneider said.
Aukes, a junior, entered the game with 14 goals, the same amount Albert Lea (2-7-1, 1-6 Big Nine) entered the game with as a team.
Despite playing a prevent defense in the third period, the Tigers outshot the Cardinals 10-8. On the game, Luverne had the edge in shots on goal 28-24.
That four-goal difference was an improvement on the first time the two teams met this season on Nov. 10 at Luverne. The Cardinals won that game 9-1 and outshot the Tigers 42-20.
“To come back in a month and turn the tables on them is a lot of fun,” Fornwald said. “It’s exciting to see the growth of this young team.”
Luverne (7-1, 4-0 Big South) entered Tuesday’s game having defeated its opponents by a combined score of 54-10, and the Cardinals hadn’t scored fewer than three goals in a game.
Albert Lea’s defense rose to the occasion, as did its offense with goals from Maddy Carstens, Hannah Savelkoul and Maddy Herrera.
Carstens broke the ice with 7:39 left in the first period on passes from Lyrik Blake-Domke and Savelkoul.
Luverne responded with the equalizer by Madisyn Dingmann less than two minutes before the first intermission.
Savelkoul scored the go-ahead goal on an assist from Haley Larson with 1:58 left in the second period.
With about 10 minutes left in the third, Maddy Herrera scored her third goal of the season to give Albert Lea a 3-1 lead.
Luverne added a power-play goal by Madison Crabtree with 1:35 left in regulation, but the Tigers held on.
“It was a little hairy towards the end but we’re a young team,” Fornwald said. “When the situation arises, they’re going to go on emotion. Something we need to continue to work on is to play in our system.”
Next, Albert Lea will play at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Mankato East/Loyola (2-8-1, 1-5-1 Big Nine). The Cougars are coming off a 4-1 home win Saturday over Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato (5-4, 0-0 Wright County).