Riverhawks split home games against northern teams

NWC’s Emily Achterkirch handles the puck in open space. (Photo by Jake Schroer)
NWC’s Emily Achterkirch handles the puck in open space. (Photo by Jake Schroer)

NWC defeats Princeton on the road

By Jake Schroer

Crow River News Sports


The Riverhawks hosted two teams from the northern part of the state and split the games.

Alexandria was the first opponent for the Riverhawks. Three minutes into the game, Mackenzie Johnson opened the scoring for North Wright County (even strength goal, Kaleigh Hamann, Alana Achterkirch). The lead lasted just 43 seconds before another McKenzie, (Revering) evened things up (even strength, Hanah Hansen).

Minutes later, the Riverhawks got the tie breaking goal from Rachel King (even strength, Emily Achterkirch, Jenny Kisch). The Riverhawks had several chances to add a goal or two in the second period, but neither team scored. NWC carried a 2-1 lead into the third period.

Defensively, the Riverhawks held Alexandria down for much of the third period. However, things changed in the final two minutes. Kaila Dewanz tied the game at the 15:25 mark of the period (even strength, Hansen, Rachel Drew). About 30 seconds later, Melissa Drown gave Alexandria the lead for good (even strength, Lauren Niska, Taylor Ellingson).

Ellingson added a third goal with less than 40 seconds left in the game, and Alexandria suddenly skated away with a 4-2 win.

Julia Bogenholm saved 14 of 17 shots; the final goal scored on the evening found an empty net.

Coach Jason Johnson said his team played well and things just did not turn out the way the girls wanted in the end.

“That’s hockey, and it’s unfortunate, but we played a pretty good game tonight.”

Riverhawks shut out Bemidji

North Wright County hosted Bemidji on Friday in Monticello. The Riverhawks got off to another good start with a first period goal by Mackenzie Johnson on the power play (Emily Achterkirch).

Kaleigh Hamann scored NWC’s second goal early in the second period on another power play (Greta Stanton, Johnson). The Riverhawks skated into the third period with a two goal lead. This time, the Hawks did not collapse in the final minutes.

Instead, Johnson added another goal in the final period for a 3-0 victory. Alex LaMere returned  to record the shutout.

Coach Johnson said that LaMere played a solid game and set the tone early on with a key save on a breakaway. Less than a minute later, the Riverhawks scored the game’s first goal.

“She changes the game, the tempo of the game and the complexion of the game when she’s out there.”

LaMere records another shutout over Princeton

The Riverhawks traveled to Princeton to face the Tigers. Once again, North Wright County got on the board first, and once again it was 3-0 Riverhawks by the third period. Once again, Ohio State recruit Alex LaMere was in goal.

Coach Johnson said the team exposed LaMere a bit in the third period, but she was able to persevere and make several key saves.

“She made some big saves in that third period to keep it at a 3-0 win and shutout.”

With the weekend victories, North Wright County evened its record at 8-8-1. The Riverhawks played on Tuesday at home against Cambridge-Isanti. NWC hosts Buffalo tomorrow night at the Albertville Ice Arena.