MARSHALL - Both the Marshall Tigers and Luverne Cardinals entered Tuesday night tied atop the Southwest Conference girls hockey standings. And after two periods of play at Lockwood Motors Ice Arena, the conference rivals remained tied in both the standings and on the scoreboard.
The Cardinals, however, broke the tie both on and off the ice after four consecutive goals blew the game open early in the third period.
Separated by just over 3 1/2 minutes, four Cardinals scored on four consecutive shots to push Luverne to a 6-3 win over the Tigers (3-3 overall, 2-1 Southwest Conference).
Photo by Travis Andries
Marshall’s Alysia Rupp (5) battles along the boards for the puck against Luverne’s Mariah Aukes during Tuesday night’s
Southwest Conference tilt in Marshall.
Monique Aenenson had the first goal for Luverne in the third, popping a rebound up and over Marshall goalie Morgan Morrill at the 3:12 mark to break the 2-2 draw.
It only took 49 seconds for the Cardinals to double their lead as Madilyn Oye redirected a Makayla Sterrett shot past Morrill. Madisyn Dingman scored a power play goal for the Cardinals one minute into a Sara Anthony penalty, while Sterrett closed out the Cardinal scoring for the game as she deflected a Katie Eeten shot from the point off the post and into the net at 6:40.
Despite the flurry of goals in the third period, Morrill was solid for the Tigers, who were out-shot 33-14 by their conference rivals. With the exception of the first goal of the game, scored just 37 seconds into the game, each Luverne goal was the result of a tip or screen in front of the net.
Luverne1 1 4 - 6
Marshall0 2 1 - 3
L-Ellen Dahl (Makayla Sterrett), 0:37
M-Hanna Peterson (Morgan Larsen) PP, 0:23
L-Mariah Aukes, 11:16
M-Jessica Blanchard (Peterson), 15:26
L-Monique Aenenson (Morgan Hohn, Briana Erickson), 3:12
L-Madilyn Oye (Sterrett, Carly Serie), 4:01
L-Madisyn Dingman (Serie) PP, 5:22
L-Sterrett (Katie Eeten, Aenenson), 6:40
M-Blanchard (Alysia Rupp), 14:28
Shots on Goal: L-33; M-14.
Goaltenders: L- Kennedy Gonnerman (11 saves); M-Morgan Morrill (27 saves).
"I thought she had a very good game," Marshall head coach Kevin Schroeder said of his goalie. "Some of those shots, there's not much you can do about them when they get tipped. Again, a credit to them. They tried putting a lot of traffic in front of her."
Morrill held the Tigers in the game, helping them to a second period comeback with a pair of big breakaway saves.
"A goalie playing well is a ton of confidence for the rest of the team, so we had been looking for our goalies to play with some confidence," Schroeder said. "That was huge for the whole team, for the mentality of the whole game. They've got to have a goalie back there that they can count on so that they can afford to be aggressive."
With confidence in their goalkeeper, the Tigers scored two goals in the second period on just five shots.
Hanna Peterson got Marshall on the board first, scoring just five seconds after a Luverne penalty and just 23 seconds into the period.
After Mariah Aukes scored unassisted for the Cardinals at the 11:16 mark of the period, Jessica Blanchard scored the first of two goals from a sharp angle for the Tigers to tie the game at 2.
Blanchard also had Marshall's final goal of the game, at the 14:28 mark of the third period, again on a shallow angle.
Whereas the Cardinals (5-0, 3-0) were able to maintain a consistent presence in front of Morrill, the Tigers struggled with their shot selection Tuesday night, allowing Luverne freshmen goaltender Kennedy Gonnerman to make some easy saves as the game wore on.
"We just got caught throwing the puck around; we took some shots from some bad angles," Schroeder said. "We have been talking about how we need to work harder for some high-quality shots instead of just throwing them in from the sides."
The desperation angle shots resulted largely from a lack of offensive zone pressure for the Tigers, who struggled with their forecheck all night against Luverne.
"All of our games up to this point we were happy with our forecheck," Schroeder said. "We really thought that was one of our strong points, but tonight it just didn't work out. I think the second period our forecheck worked, we were able to put a lot of pressure on them. A credit to them. They were doing a good job of getting it out of their zone. On our forecheck we were not as aggressive as we have been. We got caught looking at the puck more instead of taking the body like we have been."
Having lost two games in a row, the Tigers will look to get back above .500 for the season when they travel to Fairmont on Thursday for a non-conference game.