Girls Hockey: Warriors blank rival Rams 3-0. B/LF moves closer to earning top Section 8-2A seed
Last year, the Brainerd/Little Falls Warriors lost to Roseau twice during the regular season before edging the Rams 2-1 in the Section 8-2A final. That explains why the Warriors were cautiously optimistic Friday, Jan. 18 at Essentia Health Sports...
Last year, the Brainerd/Little Falls Warriors lost to Roseau twice during the regular season before edging the Rams 2-1 in the Section 8-2A final.
That explains why the Warriors were cautiously optimistic Friday, Jan. 18 at Essentia Health Sports Center in Brainerd after their 3-0 victory gave them a regular season sweep over Roseau.
"Even though it's not a (section playoff game) we still need to win these games to build our confidence and earn the No. 1 seed," said B/LF head coach Jim Ernster, whose squad also edged the Rams 4-2 in Roseau Dec. 14. "We know Roseau is good and to keep them off the scoreboard is a credit to (goaltender) Olivia King."
King stopped all 14 shots that the senior faced to earn her third shutout of the season and first shutout against the Rams in her five seasons on varsity.
"Our goalie coach, Toby Kvalevog, puts in a ton of work with Olivia and it has really paid off in the last 12 games," said Ernster, whose squad earned its 11th straight win.
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Warriors 3, Roseau 0
- Key: Brainerd/LF goalie Olivia King stopped 14 shots to earn the shutout
- Overall: BLF, 17-2-1, R 16-4-0
- Next: Brainerd at Fergus Falls 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22
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King made some key saves early as the visitors took advantage of three straight power plays and took six of the games first eight shots by the midway point of the opening period. It turned out to be the only three penalties called in the game.
Despite being outshot, the Warriors grabbed a 1-0 lead at 5:38 when Gabbie Smith skated in from the side of the Roseau net and snapped off a quick shot past goaltender Kiana Flaig.
"We had a 2-on-1 break and their defenseman and goalie both went to the other skater and I had an opening to shoot," said Smith, who was assisted on the goal by her cousin, Emma Smith, and Josie Kramer.
B/LF stretched its lead to 2-0 late in the first period when Cheyenne Abear skated between two defenders and flipped the puck in the top corner of the net.
The Rams missed a scoring opportunity early in the second session as King made two big saves in front on shots by Ella Helgeson. The Warriors were robbed of a goal on the other end when Flaig made a blocker stop on Abby Pohlkamp after she took a pass from Lindsey Booth.
B/LF made it 3-0 when Gabbie Smith controlled the puck along the boards before making a pass in front to Shaylee Stroot, who fired the puck past Flaig with 4:21 left in the middle period.
There was no scoring in the final session, although both teams had good scoring chances. King made a sliding save on Rebecca Wensloff's backhand shot with 11:25 remaining and then Flaig stopped Abear's scoring chance in front with 2:16 left.
"This was a big game for us because we knew that if we didn't win we would have zero chance of being the top seed," said Roseau coach Steve Huglen, whose team has won seven of its past nine games. "It's disappointing to lose by three goals. We were misfiring a bit, but King made some big saves. She also had great defensive play in front of her. You tip your hat to (B/LF) and move on."
• The defending section-champion Warriors are on a 16-0 stretch against section opponents over the past two seasons. B/LF is 10-0 against section teams this season while the Rams are 5-2 against section opponents.
• Booth leads the Warriors with 32 points, followed by Pohlkamp 31, Abear 27 and Gabbie Smith 21. Pohlkamp has 18 goals, while Smith has 15, Abear 14 and Booth 12.
• The B/LF junior varsity squad is 11-5-2 overall after tying Sartell/Sauk Rapids 1-1 Thursday, Jan. 17.
Roseau 0 0 0-0
Brainerd/LF 2 1 0-3
First period: BLF-Gabbie Smith 15 (Josie Kramer, Emma Smith) 5:38; BLF-Cheyenne Abear 14 (Jenna Nieman, Lindsey Booth) 15:09
Second period: BLF-Shaylee Stroot 3 (Gabbie Smith, Ella Kalusche) 12:39
Shots on goal: BLF 18, R 14
Goalies: BLF-Olivia King (14 saves); R-Kiana Flaig (15 saves)