Alexandria girls' hockey: Cardinals return to Section 6A finals tonight
It's back to the finals in the Section 6A girls' hockey tournament for the Cardinals, who stopped Detroit Lakes 7-2 Tuesday in semifinal action.
The Redbirds dominated play against the Lakers, outshooting them 48-11 as they jumped to an early 4-1 first period lead.
"The energy from the Cardinals was electrifying well before a single girl stepped onto the ice," said head coach Andy Shriver, whose team has been itching for the chance to avenge their 2-0 loss to Detroit Lakes in last year's championship.
Four first-period goals set the stage for the win as Becca Illies opened the scoring on assists from Shaneé Herd and Anna Carlsen, with Carlsen picking up the second goal on assists by Shelby Iverson and Illies.
Melissa Drown made it 3-0 as Taylor Ellingson assisted before Detroit Lakes got on the board, but Drown came back to score the fourth goal, again on Ellingson's assist.
"With shots being 15-2 after the first period, the Cardinals had the luxury of getting down to the nitty-gritty," said Shriver.
Becca Illies scored her second goal of the night, assisted by Iverson and Nichole Bartels to keep the lead out of reach by the Lakers.
"In the third period, the Cardinals had ESPN-worthy plays that set up into beautiful goals," said Shriver. "Finishing the game, Becca Illies scored her third goal of the game assisted by Herd and Iverson.
Iverson scored the final goal of the game with assists by Illies and Carlsen.
"The leadership seen on and off the ice by our seniors was truly amazing," said the coach. "It may have been their last game on their home ice, but it certainly was a show to be seen."
The Cardinals will now face Fergus Falls tonight, Friday, at 7 p.m. in Detroit Lakes.
Alexandria has beaten the Otters both times the two teams have met this season, winning 3-0 in both contests. Alexandria is 18-6-2 on the year, while Fergus Falls is 5-21.
Last year, the Cardinals lost to the Detroit Lakes Lakers in the title game. They defeated Fergus Falls for the crown in 2011 to earn their second straight trip to the state tournament.
In all, the Cardinals have made seven straight tournament trips, winning the Class A championship in 2008.
SECTION 6A GIRLS' HOCKEY
SEEDINGS - 1. Alexandria, 2. Fergus Falls, 3. Northern Lakes, 4. Detroit Lakes, 5. Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Wadena-Deer Creek, 6. Morris-Benson Area.
Detroit Lakes 3, Long Prairie-GE/WDC 2 OT
Northern Lakes 10, Morris-Benson Area 0
Alexandria 7, Detroit Lakes 2
Fergus Falls 3, Northern Lakes 1
Alexandria vs. Fergus Falls at Detroit Lakes, 7 p.m.