Cardinals advance after three overtimes
For the second straight year, the Alexandria girls’ hockey team found itself playing an overtime game in the consolation bracket of the state hockey tournament.
“It was very exciting,” Revering said. “I was crying because I was so happy. We worked so hard. Three overtimes, that’s a lot.”
The Cardinals were in a similar position in 2013, playing an overtime game against Mound Westonka in the consolation bracket. But unlike last year, the Cardinals held on and won its first game in team history at Ridder Arena.
“I was thinking about that,” Lauren Niska said. “I was like, ‘I hope we don’t lose the same exact way we did last time.’”
New Ulm led early in the game thanks to a goal by Brook Schugel at 5:50 of the first period. Melissa Drown scored her third goal of the tournament 16 seconds into the second period, and Alexandria took its first lead of the game after Nicole Bartels scored unassisted at 3:49.
But New Ulm scored two goals of its own in the second period. Ali Beltz and Erika Ries both were credited with goals as the Eagles took a 3-2 lead into the third period.
But Niska retied the game on a shorthanded opportunity at 11:54 of the third period. Niska stole the puck and fired a long slap shot past New Ulm’s Bailey Landreville to bring the score to 3-3.
“I was just trying to get it on net,” Niska said. “A hard low shot, maybe it would go past her pad or something.”
After Niska’s goal, neither team would score for the rest of regulation and through nearly three overtimes. Alexandria head coach Blair Hovel is no stranger to overtimes, being part of them as a player and a coach. Often, he said, the game is won by the team that wants it the most.
“It comes down to heart and desire,” Hovel said. “We had the heart and the desire. We wanted it, and you could tell we were doing the right things in those overtime periods.”
Goaltender Amy Jost once again did her part to keep the Cardinals in the game. She kept all 10 New Ulm shots out of the net in the third period, and continued to stop 14 during the three overtimes. She made a total of 36 saves in the game.
After each overtime period, Hovel made sure to remind the Cardinals to keep playing a smart game. The advice worked as they made sure to get back on defense and keep New Ulm from scoring a game winning goal.
“Basically the smart things,” Hovel said about his advice. “We’ve got to do the smart things of going hard, forechecking, making sure we are getting into their body and covering the front of our net. Little things like making the smart passes and not trying to force anything.”
The Cardinals will play for the consolation championship at 10 a.m. Saturday at Ridder Arena against either Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato or Proctor/Hermantown.
ALEXANDRIA 0 2 1 0 0 1 – 4
NEW ULM 1 2 0 0 0 0 – 3
SHOTS – ALEXANDRIA (8, 11, 7, 5, 10, 2) – 43; NEW ULM – (7, 8, 10, 6, 7, 1) – 39
SCORING – FIRST PERIOD – New Ulm – Brook Schugel (PP) (Lexie Weiss), 5:50
SECOND PERIOD – Alexandria – Melissa Drown (PP) (Taylor Ellingson, McKenzie Revering), 0:16; Alexandria – Nicole Bartels, 3:49; New Ulm – Ali Beltz (Erika Ries, Brittany Denn), 6:53; New Ulm – Ries, 12:53
THIRD PERIOD – Alexandria – Lauren Niska, 11:54
OVERTIME 1 – No scoring
OVERTIME 2 – No scoring
OVERTIME 3 – Alexandria – McKenzie Revering, 5:20
GOALTENDING – Alexandria – Amy Jost, 36 saves on 39 shots; New Ulm – Bailey Landreville, 39 saves on 43 shots