Girls Hockey: 6-goal BLF second period submerges Otters
Warriors 10, Otters 1 The key: BLF scored six goals in the second period Conference: Brd 8-0-0, FF 2-6-0 Overall: Brd 16-1-0, FF 9-8-0 Next: Brainerd/Little Falls at Minnetonka 2 p.m. Saturday Balanced scoring. Defense. Goaltending. Depth. Speed....
Warriors 10, Otters 1
The key: BLF scored six goals in the second period
Conference: Brd 8-0-0, FF 2-6-0
Overall: Brd 16-1-0, FF 9-8-0
Next: Brainerd/Little Falls at Minnetonka 2 p.m. Saturday
Balanced scoring. Defense. Goaltending. Depth. Speed.
The Brainerd/Little Falls Warriors have all of those qualities and all were evident in a 10-1 dismantling of the Fergus Falls Otters Thursday at Essentia Health Sports Center.
Thirteen different Warriors collected points. Goalies Olivia King and Nicole Schultz each played about half the game and faced a combined four shots as BLF shackled the Otters' offense.
Offensively, BLF outshot the Otters 38-4, tallied on 2 of 3 power plays and snapped in six second-period goals. The game's last 24 minutes were played with the clock running as BLF built a 6-goal lead.
BLF raised its Central Lakes Conference-leading record to 8-0-0 and lifted its overall mark to 16-1-0. The Warriors, who lead Section 8-2A at 9-0-0, have the ninth-highest Quality Results Formula (QRF) in Class 2A.
The loss was the Otters' first in six games. BLF beat them 7-2 Dec. 13 at Fergus Falls.
"We knew they've been playing well," Warriors head coach Jim Ernster said of the Otters, "so that's one of the things we knew we needed to do was start well to kind of snuff out any ideas they had of coming in here on the road and pull off an upset. To the girls' credit, they started out really fast and never looked back."
Cheyenne Abear paced the scoring parade with four points and Lindsey Booth contributed three. Josie Kramer slapped in two goals and Georgi Aus, Abby Pohlkamp, Lindsey Booth, Abear, Grace Schulte, Ally Smith, Gabbie Smith and Ella Kalusche each added one.
"We have great depth," said defenseman Kennedy Rusk. "We think depth is our greatest player. Each one of us can bury the puck so you never know who it's going to come from or who's going to pass you the puck. We've been working a lot on scoring. We just want to bury the puck."
Rusk and her teammates buried Fergus Falls in its defensive zone or didn't let the Otters cross the blue line uncontested. The Otters managed one shot in the first, two in the second, one in the third.
Their only goal was on a power play by Lydia Mann, who ripped a slap shot under the crossbar at 3:48 of the second.
"We've definitely been focusing on our defensive zone work," Rusk said. "We definitely wanted to improve on that. I think tonight was the first step to maybe improving our future in the defensive area."
Gabbie Smith and Ella Kalusche scored in the third period whose entirety was played with the clock ticking.
Schulte opened the second with a power-play wrist shot over a screened goalie. Kramer then popped up a shot and in and it was 4-0. Abear scored on a backhand and Ally Smith tallied during a scrum in front for a 6-1 edge.
Kramer's second goal was on a power-play rebound. Lindsey Booth made it 8-1 when Otters' goalie Jadyn McKeever left the net to clear the puck, lost control of the disc, Booth latched onto it and scored.
Goals within 68 seconds in the first put BLF in front 2-0. At 6:24, McKeever stopped an Olivia Wiskow shot, but Aus corralled the rebound and rapped it home. Seventy seconds later, Abear and Booth cruised in on a 2-on-1. McKeever blocked Lindsey Booth's shot but Abby Pohlkamp was trailing the play and scored on the rebound. The Warriors had opportunities on an explosive power play, but McKeever robbed Lindsey Booth and moments later Abear rang the crossbar.
The Warriors, ranked 20th by "Let's Play Hockey" newspaper, travel to Minnetonka to take on Class 2A's eighth-ranked Skippers, who are 6-0-1 in their last seven games and 9-5-3 overall.
"Any time you can go down to the Cities and play a quality team like Minnetonka we know they're well-coached," Ernster said. "They were up here last year. It's a quality program so we're looking forward to the challenge."
Fergus Falls 0 1 0- 1
Brainerd 2 6 2-10
First period: BLF-Georgi Aus (Olivia Wiskow, Sophie Robinson) 6:24; BFL-Abby Pohlkamp (Lindsey Booth, Cheyenne Abear) 7:34
Second period: BLF-Grace Schulte (Abear) ppg 1:23; BLF-Josie Kramer (Brooke Watland) 1:48; FF-Lydia Mann (Sophie Rausch, Hallie Sheridan) ppg 3:48; BLF-Abear (Lindsey Booth) 6:15; BLF-Ally Smith (Mara Roberts) 8:12; BLF-Kramer (Pohlkamp, Abear) ppg 9:54; BLF-L.Booth 15:01
Third period: BLF-G.Smith (Robinson) 2:01; BLF-Ella Kalusche (A.Smith, G.Smith) 12:00
Shots on goal: Brd 11-15-12--38, FF 1-2-1--4
Goalies: Brd-Olivia King (2 saves first 24 minutes), Nicole Schultz (1 save last 27 minutes); FF-Jadyn McKeever (28 saves)