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Girls Hockey: Warriors blank Willmar 8-0

Brainerd/Little Falls hosts Willmar Tuesday, March 2

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Brainerd Warrior Macy Peterson hits one of her two goals Tuesday, March 2, against the Willmar Cardinals at the Essentia Health Sports Center. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

A second-period onslaught by the Class 2A’s 10th-ranked Brainerd/Little Falls Warriors helped them cruise to an 8-0 Central Lake Conference victory over Class 1A’s 10th-ranked Willmar Cardinals.

Coming off a loss to River Lakes last week, the Warriors looked like they had something to prove and did so in the blowout win.

“We made it a priority to come out and have a fast start,” Warriors head coach Jack Freeman. “We hadn’t seen that in a couple of weeks from our group. It was nice to come out and see everyone flying.

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“Our girls were motivated to play. Anytime you are coming off a loss you want to see your kids respond and rebound and that’s what they did.”

Emma Booth scored the first goal of the second period off an assist from Molly Pohlkamp and Riah Stroot to make it 2-0 BLF.

RELATED: Girls Hockey: Warriors winning streak snapped by Stars Brainerd Warriors at River Lakes Thursday, Feb. 25

Macy Peterson scored her second goal on a breakaway set up by Mercedes Engstrom.

“I went out to the point and got it and scored it,” Peterson said. “I was confident I was going to put it in.”

Stroot added a goal herself on a puck that snaked through the offensive zone after a shot near the blue line to make it 4-0.

“We were playing the right way,” Freeman said. “We were playing from the net out and were making everyone a priority. Our forecheck had great angles and doing all those little things pucks start falling your way.”

RELATED: Girls Hockey: 4 unanswered goals life Warriors over Otters Brainerd/Little Falls Warriors travels to Fergus Falls Tuesday, Feb. .23

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Finally, BLF’s five-goal second period was capped off by two goals in 10 seconds. With 1:20 left in the period, Molly Hagelie went top shelf on assists from Pohlkamp and Taylor Larson. Then, before the Essentia Sports Health Center was done cheering Hagelie’s goal, Brynne Folden raced up the ice to make it 6-0 Warriors. Peterson notched the assist for her third point.

“We worked hard as a team and just overall it was a good team effort,” Peterson said. “We just got pucks to the net and played hard.”

In running time in the third period, Lucy Peterson scored a goal on a Macy Peterson and Kendra Couture assist. Booth notched her second goal with 42 seconds left.

“She just does everything the right way,” Freeman said. “She leads by example — all our seniors do. We are blessed with a great senior class and anytime your team sees your top players doing things the right way everyone is going to be bought in.”

Warriors outshot Willmar 46-16 with Breya Sawyer tallied 16 saves.

BLF started the scoring with Macy Peterson’s first goal two minutes left in the first period off an assist from Peyton LeMieur.

“We are missing Avery LeMieur right now, so we need someone to step up there and Macy did for us tonight,” Freeman said. I like the way she played in all three zones and she was playing a ton of minutes and competed throughout the game.”

The Warriors had a strong forecheck in the first period and rattled off 16 shots on goal to Willmar’s three.

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Cardinals goalie Halle Mortensen notched 15 saves in the opening period to keep it a one-goal game.

The Warriors are winners of eight of their last nine after handing Willmar its first Central Lakes Conference loss.

BLF has five remaining games left before section playoffs and all five are section opponents starting with Bemidji Thursday, March 4.

“Towards the end of the season you are balancing making sure you are ready to play and recovering,” Freeman said.

Willmar 0 0 0 — 0
Brainerd/LF 1 5 2 — 8

First period: BLF-Macy Peterson (Peyton LeMieur) 14:59
Second period: BLF-Emma Booth (Molly Pohlkamp, Riah Stroot) 5:05; BLF-Macy Peterson (Mercedes Engstrom) 11:38; BLF-Riah Stroot (Emma Booth) 13:58; BLF-Molly Hagelie (Molly Pohlkamp, Taylor Larson) 15:40 PPG; BLF-Brynne Folden (Macy Peterson) 15:50
Third period: BLF-Lucy Peterson (Macy Peterson, Kendra Couture) 12:18; BLF-Emma Booth (Taylor Larson) 16:18
Shots on goal: BLF 16-20-10 46, W 3-7-6 16
Goalies: BLF-Breya Sawyer (16 saves); W-Halle Mortensen (38 saves)

Warriors 8, Willmar 0

Key: A second-period flurry gives BLF a blowout victory.

Conference: BLF 6-2, W 4-1-1.

Overall: BLF 9-3, W 7-5-1.

Next: BLF at Bemidji 7:15 p.m. Thursday, March 4.

CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or conrad.engstrom@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.

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