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Alexandria senior captain Melissa Drown handles the puck against New Ulm during the Class A state tournament last week. Drown led the Cardinals with three goals in the three games over the weekend as she helped her team wrap up another winning season. (Blaze Fugina/Echo Press)

Cardinals meet state expectations

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The Alexandria girls’ hockey team met most of its goals for the 2014 State Class A tournament despite ending the season with a 4-1 loss to Proctor/Hermantown on Saturday.

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After starting the Class A state tournament with a 3-2 loss to the eventual state champion The Blake School on Wednesday, the Cardinals beat New Ulm in a triple overtime thriller Thursday to earn a spot in the consolation championship. The team tried to keep the momentum going after playing those two close games against Proctor/Hermantown in the consolation finals on Saturday.

“They gave it all they’ve got,” head coach Blair Hovel said. “When you play two tough games prior to this game your energy level is high, and once you get down a little bit it kind of goes.”

Melissa Drown led the Cardinals with three goals in the tournament, including two against Blake in the first round.

Drown also scored a goal in the Cardinals’ first consolation game against New Ulm. Nicole Bartels and Lauren Niska both scored for Alexandria before McKenzie Revering netted the game winner in the third overtime period.

Bartels scored the lone goal Saturday against Proctor/Hermantown, although Alexandria had some extra chances to score.

“I thought we were close on a lot of chances,” Drown said. “They said they were a strong physical team, and they were playing well defensively, kind of keeping us off the rebounds.”

Amy Jost made all three starts in goal for Alexandria, making at least 30 saves in the first two games of the state tournament. Jost made 23 saves on 26 shots against Proctor.

The Cardinals did not seem to get the right bounces to finish the state tournament with a win against Proctor. Hovel said that has been a common occurrence for the Cardinals.

“That’s kind of the story of our season, that we just didn’t get the bounces,” Hovel said. “Every game we had to earn our wins, we had to earn every goal.”

The Cardinals still felt they met most of the goals they had heading into the tournament. Their victory against New Ulm was the first ever for Alexandria at Ridder Arena, and they also had a memorable effort against Blake.

“We set goals to win at least one game,” Taylor Ellingson said. “We were wishing it was our first game (against Blake) because it was super close, but I’m glad that we actually won a game because usually when we come down here it is two tough teams.”

Heading into the season with a young roster, the Cardinals had set their goals to return to the state tournament. They were unsure how successful they would be with only four seniors.

But they repeated as Section 6A champions and made another appearance at the state tournament. The Cardinals finished the season with a 15-13-1 overall record.

“We have a bunch of young girls of all ages,” Rachel Drew said. “We pushed through some adversity and it was good to see the girls work through that.”

GAME RESULTS ALEXANDRIA 0 0 1 – 1

PROCTOR 1 0 3 – 4

SHOTS – ALEXANDRIA (9, 5, 5) – 19; PROCTOR (7, 10, 10) – 27

SCORING – FIRST PERIOD – Proctor – Sophie McGovern (PP) (Reilly Fawcett, Abby Halverson), 10:54

SECOND PERIOD – NO GOALS

THIRD PERIOD – Alexandria – Nicole Bartels (Melissa Drown, Kaila DeWanz), 1:33; Proctor – McGovern, 6:15; Proctor – Brielle Larson, 13:24; Proctor – Fawcett (EMPTY NET) (PP), 16:29

GOALTENDING – ALEXANDRIA – Amy Jost, 23 saves on 26 shots; PROCTOR – Kylie Hommerding, 18 saves on 19 shots

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

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Blaze Fugina
Blaze Fugina is a sports reporter at the Echo Press. Before working in Alexandria, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. He previously worked as the community editor of the Mound Laker for more than a year. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.
(320) 763-1230
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