Defense holds the line against state’s top girls hockey teams
Boys hockey scores 10 goals in split of two games
by DAVE PEDERSEN
The area girls hockey team followed a 3-1 win over the No. 1 Class AA team in the state by doing the same to No. 3 Eden Prairie last week.
The common factors in the back to back upset victories on the road over top teams in the state were defense and goaltender Lindsey Hartfiel.
“We have four solid defenders in seniors Emily Varner, MacKenzie Rixe and Katie Vatnsdal, along with ninth-grader Allison Roethke,” said coach Ray Dahlof. “Our centers are also responsible for helping down low in our defensive zone. Key factors are playing disciplined hockey in our zone and focusing on their areas of responsibility.”
The Bison team that includes players from Delano, Rockford and Buffalo moved on to hold Rogers to one goal in a 6-1 win Thursday. The incredible stretch of consistent play ended with a 4-0 loss to No. 12 Hopkins Saturday.
Early in the second period against Eden Prairie in a scoreless game, Hartfiel stopped a penalty shot. The Bison got on the board when found Abby Halluska converted a pass from Katie Rooney.
After killing off a penalty with five minutes left in the third period, Rooney scored off a pass from sophomore Madi Jewell to give the Bison a 2-0 lead.
“That goal gave us some needed energy late in the period when we played shorthanded for six minutes,” said Dahlof. “The Eagles scored and then pulled their goalie with a minute and a half to play. The one good scoring chance was stopped by Hartfiel. Rooney sealed the win with an empty net goal.”
The three forward lines have been Rooney with Ashley Effertz and Lindsay Roethke; Halluska with Jewell and Kirsten Olson, plus Emily Wiegand with Sam and Sydney Noetzelman.
Against Rogers, the Bison scored three first-period goals by Effertz, Varner and Rooney. The Bison kept the pressure on in the second period with 25 shots on goal. Lindsay Roethke finally scored a power play. Halluska and Rooney notched third-period goals.
Dahlof said his team played hard against Hopkins but could not score. Hopkins had been ranked in the top five most of the year, but lost some games when a top player was in Finland playing for the U18 US national team.
Section 6AA now has six teams ranked in the top 20 in the state. The Bison defeated teams ranked No. 1, 3 and 5 at the time and are 13-5 overall.
Another big test will come this weekend when the Bison go north to face Warroad (No. 1 in Class A) Friday and to Thief River Falls Saturday. The team is at North Wright County Tuesday, Jan. 22 and home to Orono Friday, Jan. 25.
Hartfiel made 41 saves against top-ranked BSM and 33 against No. 3 Eden Prairie when yielding just two goals total. The senior stopped 20 shots against Hopkins. On the season she has a goals against average of 1.76 and a save percentage of .929 with three shutouts.
Rooney leads with 26 goals and 21 assists for 47 points. Lindsay Roethke has 39 points on 14 goals and 25 assists.
The Delano-Rockford boys hockey team shut out Orono 5-0 and lost 6-5 in overtime to Rochester Lourdes last week to be 9-7 on the season.
Against Orono, Justin Oja had two goals and one assist. Eric Ylitalo had a goal and three assists. Brody Miller and Grant Prinsen also scored and Adam McLain added three assists. Goalie Aaron Grangroth made 23 saves in the shutout.
Delano-Rockford went up on Lourdes 3-0 after one period but gave it back in the second period. Both teams scored twice in the third period before Lourdes scored in overtime.
Five different players scored for Delano-Rockford including Mike Krueger, Prinsen, Chet Halonen, Oja and Ylitalo. McLain added two more assists and Grangroth made 28 saves.
The team plays at Litchfield Friday, Jan. 18, is home to Hutchinson Tuesday, Jan. 22 and home to Holy Family Friday, Jan. 25.
Contact Dave Pedersen at firstname.lastname@example.org