Girls Hockey: Quick start fuels Warriors win over Grand Rapids/Greenway

Lucy Peterson of Brainerd/Little Falls passes the puck against Grand Rapids/Greenway Friday, Dec. 20, at the Essentia Health Sports Center in Brainerd. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

It took the Warriors one minute and 36 seconds to put their stamp on a 3-1 win over Class 2A’s No. 18 ranked Grand Rapids/Greenway Friday, Dec. 20, at the Essentia Health Sports Center.

Taylor Larson scored off a rebound that deflected out to her. Molly Pohlkamp initially had the shot to put the pressure on Lightning goaltender Emily Trast.

“It felt really good,” Larson said. “We know we needed to start and win the first five minutes of the game and that was just a good way to start.”

It was Larson’s energy in both zones that helped the Warriors get off to a good start and give BLF confidence.

“Boy, Taylor Larson was good for us at the start,” BLF head coach Jack Freeman said. “When she sparks us like that and gets in on the offense it really sets the tone.”


Josie Kramer continued her hot streak and scored her fourth goal of the season at the 4:01 mark of the first period. Gabbie Smith and Brynne Folden assisted on the Kramer goal that gave the Warriors a comfortable cushion just four minutes in.

Lucy Peterson got the last goal of the first for the Warriors and gave all three of the BLF lines goals in the first period. Lindsey Booth and Shaylee Stroot assisted on the Peterson goal to give the Warriors nine different players a point in the first period.

“That’s huge and we need all three of them going,” Freeman said of all three of his lines’ production. “That was an emphasis tonight. We were going to roll with three lines. It was nice to see each line rewarded and see some success early on. It gave us some confidence moving forward.”

The Warriors outshot the Lightning 12-2 in the first and put pressure on the net most of the period.

After a scoreless second period, GRG got its first goal at the 6:02 mark of the third period. Ellie Tillma finished off a puck that was loose in the crease.

Despite the late goal, the Warriors still outshot GRG 30-9 with BLF goaltender Breya Sawyer notching eight saves.

It has been an interesting week for BLF as it had a game canceled due to an influenza breakout. The Warriors also are coming off a loss to Roseau, so getting a win before the holiday tournament was important.

“It felt really nice with the weird week,” Larson said of the win. “We just knew we had to get to playing our game.”


The Warriors’ next opponent will be Class 1A’s No. 1 ranked team in the Breck Mustangs at Edina Thursday, Dec. 26. BLF is currently ranked No. 10 in Class 2A.

“At the holiday tournament we are going to see some quality opponents,” Freeman said. “Nice to leave the rink feeling good, but we know that it will be a challenge going up against Breck. The biggest thing we can take from this one is when we get off to a good start, we are a pretty good team.”

For more photos, go to .

Grand Rapids/G 0 0 1 -- 1
Brainerd/LF 3 0 0 -- 3

First period: BLF-Taylor Larson (Peyton LeMieur, Molly Pohlkamp) 1:36; BLF-Josie Kramer (Brynne Folden, Gabbie Smith) 4:01; BLF-Lucy Peterson (Lindsey Booth, Shaylee Stroot) 9:29
Third period: GRG-Elie Tillma (Jordan Troumbly, Kayden Broking) 6:03
Shots on goal: BLF 12-7-11 30 , GRG 2-3-4 9
Goalies: BLF-Breya Sawyer (8 saves); GRG-Emily Trast (23 saves)

CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or Follow on Twitter at

Warriors 3, Grand Rapids 1

Key: Three first period goals propel the Warriors to cruise to victory.


Overall: BLF 9-3, GRG 6-5-1.

Next: BLF plays Breck at Edina noon Thursday, Dec. 26.

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