Marshall girls’ hockey team falls to Dragons in finale

MARSHALL – Marshall girls’ hockey head coach Kevin Schroeder had heard from other coaches that Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato is a quick team that moves the puck well. His Tigers entered Friday’s game with the Dragons with a near-identical record, but Schroeder admitted that L/D-C plays a tougher schedule and he was concerned that his squad’s regular season finale could turn into a rough outing if his players didn’t bring their “A” game.

Fortunately for him, they did. But so did the Dragons. After giving up the first goal of the game, L/D-C scored a pair of goals late in the first period and held the lead the rest of the way in a 5-2 victory at Lockwood Motors Ice Arena.

The Dragons held possession longer and got off 32 shots to Marshall’s 13, but Schroeder felt that his team certainly held its own against its opponent on Friday.

“Conditioning-wise, once in a while we got caught in a long shift but we skated with them, for the most part,” Schroeder said. “I don’t think we got outmuscled or anything like that. Overall, the team was very happy with their performance.

“As a coaching staff there are always little things you see you can improve on, but actually, that was a good game for us and I thought they played it well.”

The Tigers (8-14-1 overall) will try to build off that effort for an upcoming playoff run. Marshall is the No. 4 seed in the Section 3A tournament and opens play against No. 5 seed Windom Area next Friday at 7 p.m. on its home ice. The winner will play top-seeded New Ulm Feb. 12.

Marshall’s play in the first period on Friday helped fuel the Tigers through the rest of the game. They didn’t get their first shot off until almost seven minutes had passed in the game, but ended up taking the lead when Lizzie Archbold fired in a goal eight minutes, 17 seconds into the period, beating L/D-C goalie Abby Roediger top shelf on her glove side.

“That brought a big lift,” Schroeder said of the opening goal “You could feel it on the bench. It was like, ‘Hey, we can skate with these guys.’ We had heard so much about how dominant they can be with their skating and their speed and that really gave us a boost of confidence. You could just feel the excitement and I think we skated with a lot of good confidence as a team.”

The Dragons’ Kennedy Sommerfeld scored two goals before the period drew to a close, giving the Dragons a 2-1 lead by the first intermission. They then took a two-goal lead midway through the second period on a goal by Kalley Spreiter.

Marshall wasn’t ready to give in and scored a power play goal with just under four minutes left in the period when Miranda Fischer slid the puck across the face of the goal past Roediger.

Schroeder said he really liked the energy from Fischer and the rest of the team in the second period.

“It was a nice game for her. She was physical and started playing the body a little more,” he said. “Then I thought in the third period Mikenna Radke really played well. She blocked a few shots, had a couple breakaways and that’s the little plays we talk about, you know, you’ve got to be diving for the loose pucks and winning the little race, blocking shots, and we’re just starting to do that now.”

L/D-C effectively sealed the game in the third period when Macie Manning blasted in a shot from near the blue line and beat Marshall goalie Morgan Morrill top shelf just over six minutes into the period to give her team a 4-2 lead. The Dragons tacked on a power play goal later on for the three-goal win.

Morrill finished the game with 27 saves, while Roediger made 11 stops.