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Alexandria senior Rachel Drew brings the puck up the ice during a game against Sartell on December 6. Drew and her Alexandria teammates lost 5-0 against Hopkins last Friday but drew the praise of head coach Blair Hovel. The Cardinals take a 7-5-1 record into the Christmas break. (Blaze Fugina/Echo Press)

Cards happy with play versus Hopkins

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sports Alexandria, 56308
Alexandria Minnesota 225 7th Ave E
P.O. Box 549
56308

Despite losing to Hopkins 5-0 Friday, Alexandria girls’ hockey coach Blair Hovel said it was one of the best team performances the Cardinals have played this season.

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Hopkins went into the match-up at the Runestone Community Center with a 12-1 record and ranked one of the top Class AA teams in the state. They also have Nina Rodgers, one of the state’s best players who signed to play hockey at the University of Minnesota next fall.

“Even though the score was 5-0, the girls played really well,” head coach Blair Hovel said. “We played at a higher level than we have ever played at.”

The Cardinals were able to hold Rodgers to only one first-period goal. She along with Corbin Boyd netted goals in the first period to give Hopkins a 2-0 lead.

“We held her (Rodgers) off the scoreboard other than one goal on a breakaway,” Hovel said. “A great move on her part and beat Amy on the breakaway.”

Grace Bizal and Laura Clemens both scored for Hopkins in the second period, and Ali Freie netted a goal in the third to give Hopkins a 5-0 win.

Alexandria goaltender Amy Jost managed 32 saves in 37 shots, and Hopkins’ Erin O’Neil saved all 19 Cardinals shots on goal.

Although the Cardinals were outshot in the game and unable to convert any scoring chances, Hovel was happy with the defensive effort to contain Hopkins to only the five goals.

“We played a very smart game. We started intercepting passes. We were containing them, not allowing them get second-chance opportunities,” Hovel said. “We played a really sound effort.”

Alexandria is now 7-5-1 this season. The Cardinals resume play after the holiday break with an away game against the St. Cloud Icebreakers on January 7.

GAME RESULTS

HOPKINS 2 2 1 – 5

ALEXANDRIA 0 0 0 – 0

SHOTS – HOPKINS (8, 19, 10) – 37; ALEXANDRIA (6, 4, 9) – 19

SCORING – FIRST PERIOD – Hopkins – Corbin Boyd (Grace Bizal), 5:58; Nina Rodgers (Boyd, Ali Freie)

SECOND PERIOD – Bizal (PP) (Kylie Hanley), 13:20; Laura Clemens (Leighanna Sheran), 15:00

THIRD PERIOD – Freie (Boyd), 4:01

GOALTENDING – Erin O’Neil – W, 19 saves on 19 shots; Amy Jost – L, 32 saves on 37 shots

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