Wingers top Tigers
Published 10:31 pm Thursday, December 3, 2015
Despite a six-goal deficit five minutes into the third period, the Albert Lea girls’ hockey team fought until the final horn.
The Tigers scored two of the game’s final three goals, but Red Wing prevailed 8-3 Thursday at Albert Lea City Arena.
“I love the fact that they don’t quit,” said Albert Lea coach Jason Fornwald. “That’s just the type of girls that we have in our locker room. They’re great-character kids.”
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Hannah Johnson scored her second goal of the season and the Tigers’ first of the game on a pass from Haley Larson halfway through the second period after the Wingers took a 5-0 lead.
Albert Lea (1-7-1, 1-5 Big Nine) added its second goal with less than six minutes remaining in regulation. Maddy Carstens scored on assists from Maddy Hererra and Sadie Neist.
The final goal of the game was scored by Albert Lea’s Ashley Willett — her second of the season — on passes from Lucy Sherman and Mia Fjelsta with 52 seconds left in regulation.
Tigers seventh-grade goalie, Maddie Schneider, saved 26 of 34 shots on goal.
Although Red Wing (3-4-1, 2-0 Big Nine) entered the game with a losing record, the Wingers were one of three teams from the Big Nine Conference ranked in the Class A polls.
In the Dec. 2 edition of Let’s Play Hockey’s rankings, Red Wing was No. 8; Owatonna, No. 19; and Northfield, No. 20.
After the Wingers’ season opener against Hopkins, the team played six consecutive games against ranked teams: No. 12 (AA) Dodge County, No. 19 (A) Owatonna, No. 4 (A) St. Paul United, No. 9 (A) New Prague, No. 1 (A) Blake and No. 11 (A) Orono.
“You take a look at their strength of schedule, and they’re playing the top teams in the state every game,” Fornwald said. “Like I told the girls before the game, it’s an exciting thing to measure yourself against competition like that.”
While Red Wing’s roster has a group of nine juniors and seniors, Albert Lea has three seniors and one junior.
“I was really proud of the girls — especially by looking at the youth in that locker room — to see their ability to step up and not be intimidated by older, more physical girls,” Fornwald said.
Next, the Tigers will host Luverne (6-0, 4-0 Big South) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Cardinals have given up an average of 1.6 goals per game and haven’t scored fewer than six goals in a game.
When the Tigers and Cardinals met on Nov. 10, Luverne won 9-1.