BY DAVE PEDERSEN
The local girls hockey team seems to have a knack for playing with the top teams in the state. Last season the Bison upset two teams ranked No. 1 at the time and Saturday earned a 2-2 overtime tie against top-ranked Minnetonka.
Junior goalie Kendra Carlson was “outstanding” according to coach Ray Dahlof in turning away 47 of 49 shots. Minnetonka scored in the first period on a shot by Gopher-bound Sydney Baldwin.
The Bison tied the game in the second period when Madi Jewell won an offensive zone face-off back to Kirsten Olson, who fired a shot into the low corner of the goal. Minnetonka’s Baldwin scored on a power play in the second period.
The team that includes players from Delano, Rockford and Buffalo kept skating hard in the third period and was rewarded with a goal by Abby Halluska to tie the game. The Bison were whistled for a penalty with 1:35 remaining, however, the penalty kill and Carlson stopped everything.
In the eight-minute overtime period the Bison still had to kill off about 30 seconds of the penalty. Each team had five shots on goal in the back and forth extra session.
“We were very happy with the tie,” said Dahlof. “Minnetonka has been ranked No. 1 all year and came in with a 15-1 record, playing mostly ranked teams. We felt we skated right with them for most of the game. We showed the same type of intensity when we lost 2-1 to No. 2-ranked Wayzata in the Centennial tournament.”
Dahlof adds how his team is improving and gaining valuable experience and confidence in these types of games. The Bison play at No. 7 Orono Thursday, Jan. 9 and at No. 3 Hopkins Saturday, Jan. 11.
Dahlof adds, “We are definitely in the toughest part of our schedule right now. We feel playing the top teams get us ready for section play in early February.”
The team lost the third place game in the Centennial tournament to Elk River 2-1. Ashley Effertz scored the lone goal.
Contact Dave Petersen at [email protected]