The Alexandria girls hockey team is gearing up for its first Section 8AA playoffs. On Saturday afternoon, the Cardinals won their third game in three days.
The Grand Rapids-Greenway Lightning (9-11-2) got the better of Alexandria (15-6-3) in the third game of Edina's Walzer Invitational. After three periods, the Lightning beat the Cardinals in a shootout on Dec. 28. This time around, Alexandria got the upper hand.
"They're a really good team," sophomore goalie Jordan O'Kane said. "It's fun to play against them. Some of us know a couple of their players, and it's fun to play different teams and come out with a win."
Grand Rapids-Greenway isn't in Alexandria's conference or section, but they gave them a test in one of the final games in the regular season.
Sophomore Kaci Trosvig scored Alexandria's only goal early in the second period with an assist from Anna Doherty. In most games, one goal wouldn't be enough. But Alexandria's defense prevailed in keeping the Lightning off the scoreboard.
"It took the full lineup to come out with a win today," head coach Molly Arola said. "It was a team effort, and we are very proud of the way that they worked today. Three games in a row is tough to do. For them to push through, it shows a lot about what this team is made of."
Arola also said she has a good problem on her hands. She has two sophomore goalies that have split time in net and had impressive seasons. On Saturday, it was O'Kane in the goal stopping all 21 shots she faced.
"We have two great goaltenders," Arola said. "Jordan played well today, and so did everyone in front of her. I thought our defense had one of its better games. Again, it was just an all-around team effort, and we couldn't have done it without everybody."
O'Kane has a record of 7-2-2 with a .922 save percentage while Bailey has stopped 91.2% of the shots she's faced in her 8-4-1 season. They've combined for five shutouts in 24 games. For them, it doesn't matter who's in the net. They want to win.
"She's been so supportive, and I try to support her myself," O'Kane said. "The team has been behind us no matter what. We are all in this together for the same goal."
Before the matinee win over Grand-Rapids Greenway, Alexandria beat Hibbing-Chisholm (8-14-1) 5-2 on Friday night. Doherty had a goal and three assists. Laren Maras has a two-point night with a goal and an assist in the win. O'Kane stopped 20 shots in goal.
After a scoreless first period, the Cardinals flexed their special-teams muscle in the second. Senior Meg Schercliffe opened the scoring on the power play, followed by shorthanded goals from Hanley Block and Doherty.
"It was a big week to improve on things and for our confidence," Arola said. "Hopefully, this gets us ready to go for our last regular-season game before we look to the playoffs."
The Cardinals get one more home game on Thursday against the St. Cloud Breakers (13-9). After, they will get ready for their first playoff run as a Class AA team.
"We are playing really good hockey, but we can give a little bit more," O'Kane said." We need to get the momentum first and keep putting pressure on teams. We are excited. We've played a lot of the teams in our section this year, so we know how tough they are."
GRAND RAPIDS-GREENWAY 0 0 0 - 0
ALEXANDRIA 0 1 0 - 1
SCORING- SECOND PERIOD- Alexandria- Kaci Trisvig (Anna Doherty) 1:18; PENALTIES- Alexandria- 0 minutes on 0 infractions; Grand Rapids-Greenway- 4 minutes on 2 infractions; GOALTENDING- Alexandria- Jordan O’Kane, W, 21 saves, 0 goals allowed; Grand Rapids-Greenway- Makenzie Cole, L, 25 saves, 1 goal allowed;
HIBBING-CHISHOLM 0 1 1 - 2
ALEXANDRIA 0 4 1 - 5
SCORING- SECOND PERIOD- Alexandria- Meg Schercliffe (Mayson Toft, Doherty) power play, 5:05; Alexandria- Doherty (Makenna Aure) short handed, 13:06; Alexandria- Hanley Block (Schercliffe) short handed, 13:49; Hibbing-Chisholm- Aune Boben (Julia Gherardi, Claire Rewertz) power play, 14:03; Alexandria- Trosvig (Lauren Maras, Doherty) 15:16; THIRD PERIOD- Alexandria- Maras (Doherty) 12:15; Hibbing-Chisholm- Allie Bussey- (Gherardi, Emma Lundell) 16:26; PENALTIES- Alexandria- 2 minutes on 1 infraction; Hibbing-Chisholm 4 minutes on 2 infractions; GOALTENDING- Alexandria- Jordan O’Kane, W, 20 saves, 2 goals allowed; Hibbing-Chisholm- Addison Hess, L, 41 saves, 5 goals allowed