By Jake Schroer
Crow River News Sports
After hovering around the .500 mark for a while, the Riverhawks soared past it with a trio of triumphs last week.
The Riverhawks outshot St. Francis/North Branch 40-16 on the way to a 3-1 victory on Tuesday. SF/NB scored first in the opening period courtesy of Paige Swanson (Katie Sigfrinius). Not long after that, Mackenzie Johnson responded for the Riverhawks (Kaleigh Hamann, Marina Chapman).
Tied at one in the second, NWC scored in a short-handed situation thanks to Greta Stanton (unassisted). Hamann and Chapman each picked up a second assist in the third period as they each assisted Johnson for a second time in the game.
The Riverhawks finished the game as 3-1 victors. Coach Johnson said his team was pleased with the win but did not feel it was the best effort put forth by the team.
“We defend pretty good and we get pretty good goaltending most nights, and we just don’t score a lot and it was kind of another night just like that.”
Alex LaMere faced just 16 shots on the night, saving 15 for the victory.
The Riverhawks won another low scoring tilt against the Wildcats in a road showdown.
The scoring was fast and furious right off the bat. 13 seconds in, Kaleigh Hamann found Mackenzie Johnson for the opening goal. Just seven seconds later, the Wildcats tied it as Oliva Mechelke found Morgan Huberty.
At the game’s pace, a high scoring affair seemed likely, but this game remained tied at one after the opening period. Only one more puck found its way into the net for the rest of the game. It came late in the second period off the stick of Emily Achterkirch to give the Riverhawks a 2-1 lead (Chapman, Rachel King).
The Riverhawks killed off three penalties and held on to win the game 2-1. LaMere once again faced a low shot total, saving 16 of 17 in the game.
Coach Johnson said the team would have liked to score a few more goals, but he said that is the kind of team the Riverhawks are this year.
“That’s what the games are gonna be like in the playoffs, so I think we’re going to be a team that’s used to playing in those close games after what we’ve dealt with here, with this part of the schedule.”
North Wright County traveled to the Richmond Arena to take on River Lakes in another competitive game.
Shelby Teal led things off scoring for River Lakes in the first period (Shaye Ruter-Cogelow). The second period belonged to the Riverhawks as Emily Achterkirch scored on the power play to tie the game (Hamann). King gave the Riverhawks the lead on another power play goal later in the period (Johnson).
Leading 2-1 in the third, the Riverhawks gave up the tying goal to Allie Stanger of River Lakes on the power play (unassisted). But King responded with the game winning goal later in the period for a 3-2 Riverhawks victory (Heidi Prebonich).
LaMere had another strong performance in goal stopping 25 of 27 shots.
Coach Johnson said the game was another important section win.
“I always tell our girls we’ll have a hard time getting seeded ahead of a team if we don’t beat them,” he said.
The Riverhawks have a conference game at Rogers on Thursday and a section game at Moorhead on Saturday to close out the regular season. A game against Orono was canceled due to another round of the polar vortex.