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Girls Hockey: Warriors’ late charge propels them past Rams

Brainerd/Little Falls hosts Roseau

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Peyton LeMieur handles the puck for the Brainerd/Little Falls Warriors in their game against Roseau Rams Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Trailing 2-0 in the second period, the Brainerd/Little Falls Warriors needed a spark against Roseau Saturday, Dec. 18, at Essentia Health Sports Center.

The Warriors got what they were looking for and scored three unanswered goals to grab a 3-2 Section 8-2A win over the Rams.

Peyton LeMieur put the Warriors on the board with a goal in the second period. Molly Pohlkamp and Macy Peterson each tallied assists on the goal to make 2-1 Roseau.

“Peyton LeMieur just capitalized on a good chance,” Warriors head coach Tate Rusk said. “I told our girls after being down two goals that we have to get the next one and don’t get frustrated. I know a lot of our girls were getting frustrated on the bench, but we just had to keep reminding them that we are a better hockey team right now.”

Warriors Girls Hockey vs Roseau Gallery

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Mercedes Engstrom tied the game 2-2 with three minutes left in the second period with a goal. Kristina Baillif got the assist on Engstrom’s goal and it was 2-2 headed into the second intermission.

“When Mercedes Engstrom buried that second one to tie us up, you could just feel the whole bench lift and the motivation change back to our side of the ice,” Rusk said. “The girls said it’s our time now and we got this.”

Molly Hagelie gave the Warriors their first lead five minutes into the third period when she scored an unassisted goal.

“Coming out in the third, I told our girls that we have to score the next one,” Rusk said. “With Hagelie, she’s just been such a good player for us and has really turned it on lately. It was such an awesome shot there from her and really good shot selection.”

BLF’s defense made a big stand at the end of the game. Brynne Folden went to the penalty box, which made the Warriors shorthanded for the last two minutes. Roseau also pulled its goalie giving the Rams a 6-on-4 advantage.

The Warriors managed to keep Roseau scoreless and preserve their seventh win of the season.

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“You never want to put yourself in that situation there,” Rusk said. “It was a tough draw at the end with Folden taking a penalty. It’s not something you want at the end of the game. I was just really happy in that situation — we called back Josie Kappes, Reagan Aus battled her tail off, Riah Stroot, Lucy Peterson — I’d say all our defenders really stepped up tonight including Brynne Folden. I was just happy with our D working hard — Roseau has a really good power play.”

BLF outshot the Rams 34-14 with Warriors goalie Breya Sawyer notching 12 saves.

The Warriors are back home Tuesday, Dec. 21, when it hosts Bemidji.

“We are trying to end the year positive,” Rusk said. “I told our girls we got two very hard games up and rest is very important.”

Roseau 1 1 0 — 2
Brainerd/LF 0 2 1 — 3

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First period: R-Ginevra Johnson (Celine Stroot) 13:57
Second period: R-Payton Remick (Summer Byfuglien) 5:24, Brd-Peyton LeMieur (Molly Pohlkamp, Macy Peterson) 9:41, Brd-Mercedes Engstrom (Kristina Baillif) 13:57
Third period: Brd-Molly Hagelie 5:34
Shots on goal: BLF 13-10-11 34, R 4-5-5 14
Goalies: BLF-Breya Sawyer (12 saves); R-Jada Pelowski (31 saves)
Overall: BLF 8-5. Next: BLF hosts Bemidji 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 21.

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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