Girls hockey squeaks past Wayzata in playoff opener
Boys split one-goal contests
BY DAVID PEDERSEN
SUN PRESS NEWS
The area girls hockey team gets another crack at a No. 1 team after edging Wayzata 5-4 Saturday to open the Section 6AA tournament.
After facing three teams ranked No. 1 in the state at the time, the Bison got a rematch against Minnetonka in the section semifinals Wednesday, after this issue went to press.
The section title game is 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15 at Parade Ice Garden. The other bracket has former No. 1 Benilde-St. Margaret’s or Armstrong-Cooper.
Earlier this season, the team with players from Delano, Rockford and Buffalo, lost to the Skippers when No. 1 in the state. The Bison did beat BSM when it was ranked first and No. 1 Warroad, the top-ranked squad in Class A.
Kirsten Olson redirected a shot from the point to score just 52 seconds into the first period against Wayzata.
“We felt it was important to score first,” said coach Ray Dahlof. “We played a gritty game and did the little things we needed to do to win the game.”
After the Trojans tied the game, Allison Roethke fired a slap shot into the top right corner for a power play goal. Early in the second period, Katie Rooney scored to give the Bison a 3-1 lead.
Wayzata scored two late goals in the second period on power plays to tie the game, the last one with just 42 seconds left in the period.
“We obviously hurt ourselves with the late penalties,” said Dahlof. “We were controlling the game and allowed them back in it.”
Abby Halluska scored the go ahead goal early in the third period. Wayzata tied the game on another rebound goal. The drama continued as the Bison took a penalty, which was killed off. With five minutes to play, the Bison got another power play chance. Emily Varner scored on a quick wrist shot with 2:24 left.
With two minutes left, the Trojans took two penalties giving the Bison a 5 on 3 power play. A Bison slashing penalty with 1:24 left gave Wayzata a faceoff in the Bison end. The pulled goalie made it 4 on 4.
The Bison kept Wayzata from getting rebounds after some shots on goal and wound down the clock to preserve the win.
Bison goalie Lindsey Hartfiel stopped 40 of the 44 shots faced.
The Delano-Rockford boys hockey team split a pair of close games, defeating Orono 4-3 in overtime before losing to Mound-Westonka 5-4.
In Orono, Adam McLain’s goal in overtime came as his penalty expired and was leaving the penalty box.
Coach Steve Brown said senior goaltender Adam Gangroth is back in game shape after missing a couple of weeks with concussion symptoms. He made 20 saves against Orono. Goals were netted by Mike Krueger, Justin Oja, Eric Ylitalo and McLain.
Brown said senior forwards Levi Peterson and Krueger have been playing together for nearly three weeks and have been productive.
Peterson has one goal and four assists in his last five games. Krueger has three goals and one assist. They play on the line with Nick Pogue, who scored the first two goals of his career in the last three games.
Against Mound-Westonka, four different players also scored, including Pogue, McLain, Peterson and Oja. Ylitalo had three assists and sophomore goalie Brett Norling made 39 saves.
Delano-Rockford ends the regular season at Hutchinson Friday, Feb. 15. Playoffs begin Feb. 21 at Parade Ice Gardens.