PREP GIRLS HOCKEY: Clash goes to Cards

Tigers drop back-and-forth game to Luverne 5-4 on late goal

Photo by Sam Thiel Members of the Marshall and Luverne girls hockey teams battle for a loose puck near the Cardinals goaltender during their game on Tuesday. The Tigers fell to the Cardinals 5-4.

MARSHALL – The Marshall girls hockey team knew things weren’t going to come easy during their conference clash with Luverne on Tuesday night. Thanks to a combination of back-and-forth play and thrilling goals, the game would be decided in the final minutes, but a pair of late goals by the Cardinals was enough for Luverne to escape with a 5-4 victory over the Tigers at the Red Baron Arena and Expo.

Marshall coach Cassi Weiss said she was proud of the way her team battled all night and

“I think we have nothing to hang our heads about; we played a great game and had a really solid third period and put a lot of pressure on them,” Weiss said. “Unfortunately penalties kind of got in our way, but we’ll learn from it and come back ready on Thursday.”

After two hard-fought periods and the score deadlocked at 2-2, Marshall and Luverne were both in need of a spark in the final frame if it was going to walk away with the win. The Tigers lit the match to start the fiery goal-scoring with 11:15 to go when Kalyn DeVlieger found the back of the net off the assist from KC Boerboom, but Luverne answered just 16 seconds later to tie things back up at 3-3 with under 11 minutes to play.

Marshall continued to fight and claw its way into the Cardinals’ zone and earned a power play with 8:26 left. The Tigers then capitalized on the 5-on-4 advantage, as Kaitlyn Timm got one past the Luverne goaltender 17 seconds later to give Marshall a 4-3 lead.

But the Cardinals wouldn’t go away, however, as Luverne scored on the power play two minutes later to tie things back at 4-4 with 6:06 remaining. A pair of Marshall penalties would give the Cardinals a 5-on-3 advantage with 4:38 left, but the Tigers were able to kill one of the penalties to bring a skater back on the ice.

Unfortunately for Marshall, the Cardinals continued to attack with one-skater advantage, and ultimately capitalized with a goal with 3:19 to go to take a 5-4 lead. The Tigers had one final chance with a power play with 1:33 left, but couldn’t get the equalizer in the back of the net, and Luverne held on for the 5-4 victory.

Weiss said offensively, she felt her team was able to get into a better rhythm in the final frame and produce some quality shots on goal as a result.

“I think our third forward high was crashing down hard and our defense was getting some solid shots off from the point,” Weiss said.

The back-and-forth, physical play between the Tigers and Cardinals was showcased throughout the entire night and it was evident from the opening faceoff. Neither team could get on the board early as Luverne found multiple chances at the net with eight shots on goal. The Tigers couldn’t much generated for shots in the first period, with only three registering for Marshall.

It looked as though neither team was going to find the back of the net until Luverne scored with 39 seconds left in the first to break the scoreless tie and take a one-goal lead into the second.

Weiss said their biggest adjustment between the first and second period was just focusing on their breakouts and winning battles for the puck in the neutral zone.

“We were just trying to focus on our breakout and then not losing the puck in the neutral zone, just making sure that we were winning those battles to get it deep into their zone so that we could some more flow going and shots on goal,” Weiss said.

Marshall was able to get into a rhythm to start the second, ultimately capitalizing on a goal from Olivia Peterson on the assist from both Sydney Mauch and DeVlieger to tie the game at 1-1 with 13:23 left in the frame. Fueled by the energizing score, the Tigers used it to their advantage and took their first lead of the night when Logan Sherman got the pass from Timm and put one in the back of the net with 9:21 to go to make it 2-1.

Luverne wouldn’t go away, however, answering roughly a minute later to tie things back at two goals apiece and setting the stage for the dramatic final frame.

Marshall finished the game with 18 shots on goal while Luverne had 38. Emma Klenken recorded 33 saves in net for the Tigers.

Marshall (5-2) will head to New Ulm on Thursday with the game starting at 7 p.m. Weiss said their biggest takeaway is continuing to play like they did in the third against the Cardinals and show a lot of heart and hustle on the ice.

“I think just playing like we did in that third period, with all the confidence, all the heart, back-and-forth, getting shots off and playing hard,” Weiss said.