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Girls Hockey: Warriors grind way to 3rd straight win in 3 days

Brainerd/Little Falls hosts Duluth Marshall Dec. 3

Brainerd/Little Falls girls hockey against Minnetonka on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, at Essentia Health Sports Center in Brainerd.
Brainerd/Little Falls' Breya Sawyer makes a save in a game Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, at Essentia Health Sports Center in Brainerd.
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch
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BRAINERD — Playing their third game in as many days, the Brainerd/Little Falls Warriors made it three wins in a row with a 2-1 victory over the Duluth Marshall Hilltoppers Saturday, Dec. 3.

“The goal at the start of the week was to go 3-0,” Warriors head coach Tate Rusk said. “We took it one game at a time. We were anticipating as a coaching staff that today they would be a little tired and worn down. We just told our girls to do the little things and take pride in the D zone.”

With the extra attacker on the ice for the Hilltoppers, the Warriors were able to run out the final two minutes. BLF goalie Breya Sawyer recorded 23 saves.

“Breya Sawyer stood on her head for the last five minutes,” Rusk said. “We had some big saves for us. I was more impressed with how our girls handled three straight games with one going into overtime. They’ve been working hard and they have so much heart and drive to finish off weeks like this.”

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The game was tied heading into the third period. The Warriors had a power play opportunity with six minutes left.

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Lucy Peterson found Macy Peterson for a power-play goal with five minutes left, which proved to be the game-winner.

“Our power play has been going great,” Rusk said. “Our girls take pride in it and we have the girls out there who we think can put the puck in the net and Macy has done a good job and Lucy has some of the best vision on the team. It was good to see them connect.”

After each team had an early power-play chance, BLF’s Molly Pohlkamp got the scoring started with an unassisted goal at the 11:07 mark of the first period. Pohlkamp also recorded an assist on the game-winning goal.

“Our girls respond when we get the first goal like that and they really respond when Molly gets a goal,” Rusk said. “She had a great start and has one of the harder shots in the state. We were happy that she got us going.”

Duluth Marshall tied the game on a second-period goal by Danica Mark. The Hilltoppers thought they had the go-ahead goal during a power-play opportunity late in the second period.

The puck was near the goal line before a BLF defender cleared the puck away. Duluth Marshall controlled the momentum in the second period with the Warriors committing two penalties.

“It was a tough second period,” Rusk said. “Probably our worst period of the year. When you get tired the brain tends to shut off and you start taking penalties. We have to clean that up and we talk to our girls about that, but we knew we would get some tired girls today.”

The Warriors will get some much needed rest before traveling to St. Cloud Tuesday and hosting Moorhead Friday of next week.

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“I told the girls to take a day to rest up and then it’s right back at it,” Rusk said. “We don’t want to take any days off in this section. Moorhead is playing extremely good hockey and so is St. Cloud. Every night you have to get points, especially in section games.”

Duluth Marshall 0 1 0 — 1

Brainerd/LF 1 0 1 — 2

First period: BLF-Molly Pohlkamp 11:07

Second period: DM-Danica Mark (Sarah Stauber) 3:41

Third period: BLF-Macy Peterson (Lucy Peterson, Pohlkamp) PPG 11:58

Shots on goal: BLF 11-4-5 20, DM 7-9-8 24

Goalies: BLF-Breya Sawyer (23 saves); DM-Ray Anderson (18 saves)

Warriors 2, Duluth Marshall 1

Key: A late power-play goal the difference for the Warriors.
Overall: BLF 5-2-1, DM 3-4.
Next: BLF at St. Cloud 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6.

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

Started at the Dispatch in June of 2019.
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