Girls hockey giant killers strike again


SUN PRESS Newspapers

The area girls hockey team did it again- defeating a No. 1-ranked team before experiencing a little drop off.

The Bison team that includes players from Delano, Rockford and Buffalo, had more luck when facing a top team in the state by defeating No. 1 Class A Warroad 2-1 Friday.


Emily Varner scored two goals with three assists in the 9-0 victory by the area girls hockey team over Cambridge-Isanti last week. (Photo by Bill Nord)
Emily Varner scored two goals with three assists in the 9-0 victory by the area girls hockey team over Cambridge-Isanti last week. (Photo by Bill Nord)

The week prior, the Bison upset No. 1 Class AA Benilde-St. Margaret’s, followed by a triumph over No. 3 AA Eden Prairie. Next came a loss to No. 12 Hopkins.

After the joy of victory at state power Warroad, the Bison lost 6-1 at Thief River Falls Saturday in another non-conference game.

After outshooting Warroad 10-7 in the first period and getting the lone goal by Madi Jewell, the Bison had to kill off three penalties in a scoreless second period.

“We felt fortunate to come out of that period with the lead,” notes coach Ray Dahlof. “The third period was fast paced with each team again getting 10 shots on goal.”

Warroad’s top line tied the game before the Bison made two nice passes, ending on the stick of Katie Rooney, who scored the game-winning goal.

“The Olympic size ice sheet suited our fast paced puck control style of play,” adds Dahlof. “On the game-winning goal our forwards used all of the ice and completed four or five passes in a row while moving across the entire 100-foot width of the ice.”

Senior goalie Lindsey Hartfiel made 27 saves, compared to 29 for the Warroad goalie. Hartfiel also had 27 saves against Thief River, with the lone goal scored by Emily Wiegand.

The Bison arrived in Thief River Falls at midnight and were up late. The next game was at 2 p.m. Dahlof adds, “We didn’t have a lot of jump in our legs and TRF was winning a lot of puck battles along the boards.”

TRF scored three power play goals in the second period in a span of one and a half minutes. One stretch resulted in a three on five power play.

“The loss was inconsequential compared to the injury to one of our players along with three other injuries due to stick work,” complained Dahlof, who said he asked the officials to get the rough game under control. One of the Bison had to be taken to the hospital with a head injury.

“We had a great experience in Warroad and then a terrible experience in Thief River Falls,” says Dahlof “They are a good team, but it got out of hand.”

Prior to heading up north, the Bison shut out Cambridge-Isanti 9-0. Hartfiel earned the shutout in goal. Rooney netted three goals with four assists. Emily Varner had two goals and three assists. Mackenzie Rixe added a goal and four assists. Other goals were by Jewell, Wiegand and Allison Roethke.

So far the team has defeated four teams ranked in the top five in the state at the time.

“We try to match lines when we play top teams and have the forwards back pressure the puck as well as back check the other forwards.” said Dahlof. “We have a lot of speed so frequently we can chase down the puck carrier and we still have the defenders to stop them as well. “

Dahlof adds how his players get fired up to play the top teams. Some of them know each other from playing together on teams in the off season and playing with and against each other in the Reebok High Performance programs in the spring and summer.

The girls plat at home against Orono Friday, Jan. 25 and at Princeton Tuesday, Jan. 29 before coming home to face Maple Grove Friday, Feb. 1.

Boys hockey

The Delano-Rockford boys hockey team was nipped by Mound-Westonka 5-4 in overtime before blanking Litchfield 6-0 last week.

Against MW, goals were scored by Grant Prinsen, Justin Oja, Adam McLain and Hunter Hart. Eric Ylitalo added three assists and goalie Aaron Grangroth made 35 saves.

Mike Krueger scored three goals to power the offense against Litchfield. Ylitalo had two goals and Nate Meyers one goal and two assists. Goalie Brett Norling made 18 saves.

The boys play at Holly Family Friday, Jan. 25, at home against Waconia Jan. 29 and at Princeton Feb. 1.


Contact Dave Pedersen at [email protected]