PREP GIRLS HOCKEY: Call it a draw
Tigers, Eagles skate to 2-2 tie in conference battle
MARSHALL – With Sydney Mauch’s overtime game-winner back in December still fresh in their opponent’s minds, the Marshall Tigers girls hockey team knew they would have to dig deep when the revenge-minded New Ulm Eagles came to town for Thursday night’s rematch.
Showing their resiliency with only a minute left to play trailing 2-1, the Tigers battled to gain possession of the puck before Jadyn Briffett lit the lamp with a sea of black and orange jerseys providing the screen.
Though the game would eventually end in a 2-2 tie, Marshall coach Cassi Weiss couldn’t be prouder of the effort put forth by her team.
“I am super, super happy with our performance,” said Weiss. “We gave 100 percent effort all four periods and that’s really all that I can ask for from them. The skills will come along as long as you’re giving the effort and that’s what they did.”
The Tigers, who were outshot 43-17, relied heavily on the work of their sophomore netminder Emma Klenken, who put together a performance for the books.
Reflecting on her performance in net, Weiss is still trying to figure out how she was able to make the saves that she did.
“I’m honestly speechless,” said Weiss. “I’ve never seen so many incredible saves, and I’ve never seen a goalie toe-pull it out of the net. It was beautiful, and I am so grateful because it essentially kept us in the game, and big saves that she makes pumps us up and helps us score. So I’m super grateful and just speechless.”
After a scoreless first period that ended with only four shots on net for Marshall, the Tigers came out of the second period with their best scoring chance up to that point with Mauch finding Olivia Peterson all alone in front of the net but couldn’t capitalize.
From there, the Eagles spent what seemed like an eternity in the Tigers zone with scoring chance after scoring chance that Klenken continually pushed aside. Finally, after putting their 24th shot on net, New Ulm broke through with their first goal to take a 1-0 lead.
Late in the second period with Marshall still looking for their first goal, the Tigers received a golden opportunity on the power play that they made the most of with Emmy Barker finding the back of the net on assists from Mauch and Kaitlyn Timm.
In spite of another wave of chances by the Eagles after the goal, the two teams entered the third period still tied at one.
Still deadlocked all the way into the 14th minute of the third period, the Eagles struck once more to take a late lead at 2-1. Unfazed, the Tigers kept pressing before pulling their goalie for the extra attacker in the final minute.
Following a timeout to draw up the play, the Tigers won the offensive zone faceoff and got the puck to Briffett, who threw it on net and found twine through traffic to send the game into overtime.
Weiss points to the determination of her team as the key to getting the game-tying goal.
“They wanted it, and that’s what got them that goal is they wanted it more than them, and they just piled as many kids in front of that net and dug and dug until it was in the back,” said Weiss. “Like I said it just all comes back to the effort that they gave and it was awesome.”
Seconds after the goal, the Tigers were thrown another hurdle as Logan Sherman was called for tripping, providing the Eagles with nearly a full two minutes worth of power play time to begin overtime.
Forced to weather the storm early, Klenken made a miraculous save on a puck that was on its way to crossing the goal line but was swifltly sticked aside to save the game for the Tigers. Klenken would go on to make a handful more game-saving stops before the final buzzer as the game ended in a 2-2 tie.
The Tigers will return to action on Saturday to take on Minnesota River on the road. Leading up to the conference matchup, Weiss is looking for her team to improve on their breakout passing.
“I think (we will work on) breaking the puck out,” said Weiss. “We got stuck in our zone a couple times, especially in the second and overtime. Being on that long switch it’s tough and so just those clean breakout passes.”