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Offense sputters against Sartell

Senior co-captain Melissa Drown (right) fights off Sartell’s Ashley Raduns during the CLC matchup last Friday night. (Blaze Fugina/Echo Press)

Facing one of the top teams in the Central Lakes Conference this season, the Alexandria girls’ hockey team knew it would need a solid offensive effort to stay competitive against Sartell/Sauk Rapids.

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The Cardinals were unable to generate any offense, however, in a 5-0 loss to Sartell on Friday night in Alexandria. The Storming Sabers came into the game only allowing a little over a goal a game, and the Cardinals figured out why as they were stopped on all 25 shots on goal.

Head coach Blair Hovel said the Cardinals had some opportunities to generate offense off rebounds and were unable to make it happen. The team will work on finishing those scoring chances during the upcoming weeks.

“We’ve got to work on controlling that puck,” Hovel said. “We’ve got to work on our breakout a little bit more, and obviously some shooting and just wanting to put that puck home.”

Despite being outshot 11-3 in the first period, the Cardinals were only down one after a goal from Sartell’s Olivia Stockinger.

The second period was a different story as Sartell scored four goals on 10 shots. Sarah Kaschmitter scored two goals, and Markia Smith and Alysa Gallagher each tallied one for the Storming Sabers.

“That was kind of the point in the second period, is we just stopped doing the little things and they were able to take advantage of it and really take it to us in the second period,” Hovel said.

But the Cardinals did battle back in the third period. Although it was unable to score any goals, Alexandria did outshoot Sartell 13-11 in the period and kept the Sabres off the scoreboard. The Cardinals’ coaching staff spoke about bringing a better effort before they played the game’s final period.

“We did battle back, and that’s what we talked about in between the second and third, is that we have to play with a little chip on our shoulder,” Hovel said. “It is hockey, so it’s going to be a little physical and we’ve got to want to play that style a little bit.”

Sartell goaltender Clare Minnerath stopped all 25 shots on goal in a winning effort, and Alexandria’s Bailey Serum allowed five goals on 32 shots.

After the game, Hovel said it is nice to face tough opponents early in the season to show where they need some work. The Cardinals will work on generating more offense and bringing a more complete effort in their upcoming games.

“We can never take any team lightly, whether they’re 5-1-1 like Sartell was or 0-5,” Hovel said. “We’ve got to play hard all the time and just know that if we are playing our game the scoreboard will tell the results.”

GAME RESULTS

SARTELL 1 4 0 – 5

ALEXANDRIA 0 0 0 – 0

SHOTS – SARTELL – 11, 10, 11 – 32; ALEXANDRIA – 3, 9, 13 – 25

SCORING – FIRST PERIOD – Sartell – Olivia Stockinger (Markia Smith, Caitlin Halupczok), 10:52

SECOND PERIOD – Sartell – Sarah Kaschmitter (Ashley Raduns, Lexi Holman), 0:17; Smith (Stockinger, Halupczok), 5:06; Alysa Gallagher (PP) (Megan Mohr, Holman); Kaschmitter (SH)

THIRD PERIOD – No scoring

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

(715) 273-4334
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