GIRLS HOCKEY: Tigers show improvement, place 6th at Schwan Cup

BLAINE – Luverne scored the final two goals of a back-and-forth slugfest to defeat Marshall 6-4 for fifth place during the Schwan Cup White Division Tournament at the Schawn Super Rink on Wednesday.

The Cardinals’ Makayla Sterrett, who had four goals and one assist in the game, sent a shot past Tigers goaltender Sierra Wagner to break a 4-4 tie with 15:14 left. Sterrett was assisted by Ellen Dahl on the play.

Sterrett also had a hand in the game-winning goal. Her assist, combined with another assist from Madilyn Oye, allowed Madisyn Dingman to score a goal with 8:59 remaining, giving Luverne an insurance tally.

“We feel like we’re improving against Luverne,” Marshall head coach Kevin Schroeder said. “The first time we played them, we lost 5-0 (in a Southwest Conference game at Luverne). Then, the next time (in a league home game), they beat us 5-2. Now, we were able to score four goals against them and put pressure of them for most of the game. We are making strides and our players are feeling good.”

Until then, the game was a back-and-forth shootout with MHS (5-9-1 overall) matching the Cardinals (14-3-0) goal-for-goal along the way.

The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the first period, when Megan Vogl beat Cardinals goaltender Kennedy Gonnerman with a shot 68 seconds into the contest. Bailey Archbold assisted Vogl on the play.

Luverne had the next two tallies to grab a 2-1 lead after 17 minutes. Mariah Aukes’ goal tied the game 1-1 before Sterrett scored her first goal with 10:55 left in the first period.

Less than two minutes into the second period, Marshall’s Jessica Blanchard tied the contest 2-2 with a power-play goal on a passes from Vogl and Teegan Wyffles.

Sterrett answered on a power-play goal with 10:03 remaining in the second period as the Cardinals took a 3-2 lead. Only 65 seconds later, Marshall’s Lizzie Archbold forced a 3-3 deadlock by scoring a goal on passes from Wyffles and Alysia Rupp.

Luverne took a 4-3 lead with 7:19 left in the second period, when Sterrett completed a hat trick with an unassisted goal. In the third period, she scored Luverne’s fifth goal of the game, which was her fourth straight tally.

The Tigers’ Miranda Fischer scored a goal with 15:41 left to knot the game 4-4. She was assisted by Vogl.

Gonnerman had 18 saves on 22 shots to preserve the victory. Wagner made 21 saves on 27 shots.

“Eveleth-Gilbert won the championship of the White Division and we played right with them into overtime (Monday),” Schroeder said. “Then, we rebounded in a huge way to beat Fairmont 4-3 in overtime (Tuesday) after trailing by three goals. Our girls showed a lot of determination during this tournament.”

MHS host Southwest Conference rival Morris/Benson Area at 7:30 p.m. today at Lockwood Motors Ice Arena. The game will be the Tigers’ fourth contest in four days.