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Girls Hockey: Alex wins in OT again over Brainerd-Little Falls

Hanley Block scores the game-winner for Alexandria with 25 seconds left in overtime.

Hailee Bailey hockey
Alexandria goaltender Hailee Bailey gets her pad on a shot from Brainerd-Little Falls' Macy Peterson with Alexandria's Emma Ramstorf, 10, and Lauren Maras in front of the net. Bailey had 32 saves and got the win in net as she helped the Cardinals secure the 2-1 overtime victory to sweep the regular-season series against Brainerd-Little Falls.
By Steve Kohls / Forum News Service

BRAINERD — Just like in last year’s Section 8-2A semifinal, Alexandria and Brainerd/Little Falls went into overtime tied 1-1 Monday, Jan. 31, at the Essentia Health Sports Center.

The Cardinals didn’t need three overtimes this time. With 25 seconds left, Hanley Block scored on a wrap-around shot to give Alexandria the 2-1 Central Lakes Conference and Section 8-2A win.

“Don’t want to get used to that,” Alexandria head coach Molly Arola said of winning back-to-back overtime games at Essentia Health Sports Center. “Too many high blood pressures, but it was good to be on the winning side of it.”

With 1:31 left in overtime, Alexandria called a timeout to regroup. Arola said she didn’t say much in the timeout, but the Cardinals kept the puck in the offensive zone which eventually led to the goal.

“That whole goal happened because we had pressure and we sustained pressure,” Arola said. “Hanley Block, a senior, got down low and was working hard and it went in.”

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Warriors head coach Tate Rusk tried to stay positive with his team after the crushing loss.

“We’ve got to stick to the course and trust the process,” Rusk said. “It would’ve been nice to get one to go our way tonight. Our team is working hard right now. It was a really fun hockey game. We just came out on the short end of the stick.”

HalieeAnn Bailey recorded 32 saves for the Cardinals on 33 Warrior shots. BLF started the overtime applying pressure and recorded six overtime shots on goal.

“Defensively, everyone played a good game but our goaltender played phenomenal as well,” Arola said.

After a scoreless first period, BLF struck first when Macy Peterson scored an unassisted goal at the 6:22 mark of the second period.

“That was a great shift by (Peterson),” Rusk said. “I always tell the girls to take pride in finishing your shifts. She started that shift looking a little confused on where her placement was but she usually does a good job when the puck finds her stick.”

The Warriors held the 1-0 lead for most of the second period. A penalty with 2:07 left put Alexandria on the power play and Lauren Maras scored with 1:30 left in the second to give the Cardinals momentum into the intermission.

“It was a good momentum swing for us,” Arola said. “It just gave us the intensity for the third period to overtime.”

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The Warriors went 0-for-5 on the power play including a 5-on-3 in the second period.

“It was frustrating and I know our girls are frustrated,” Rusk said. “Alex does a pretty good job of clogging it up and I thought our girls needed to have a little more poise and have better shot selection. We will fix that coming into the playoffs. We just need to maintain our effort level.”

Breya Sawyer notched 38 saves in net on 40 Alexandria shots.

“I felt really good about her coming in tonight,” Rusk said. “She was standing on her head in some areas tonight. Right now, for her, it’s just about keeping it simple and not overthink pucks.”

BLF drops to 12-11 and has two games left before the Section 8-2A playoffs. The Warriors travel to St. Cloud for a critical section matchup.

“We just got to win out,” Rusk said. “I know we got one section game left and it’s very important we win that. If we don’t win that, it’s a good chance we are on the road (for the playoffs) and I know after tonight things are up in the air. We just have to find ways to get pucks in the net.”

Alexandria hosts River Lakes on Feb. 3 and Bemidji on Feb. 8 to wrap up the regular season.

Alexandria 0 1 0 1 — 2Brainerd/LF 0 1 0 0 — 1
Second period: BLF-Macy Peterson 6:22, Alex-Lauren Maras PPG 15:30Overtime: Alex-Hanley Block (Maras) 7:35Shots on goal: BLF 11-10-6-6 33, Alex 14-10-9-7 40Goalies: BLF-Breya Sawyer (38 saves); Alex-HaileeAnn Bailey (32 saves)

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Alexandria 2, Warriors 1 (OT)

Key: Hanley Block scores the game-winner for Alexandria with 25 seconds left in OT

Conference: BLF 6-3, Alex 7-4.

Overall: BLF 12-11, Alex 11-10-1.

Next: BLF at St. Cloud 7:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4.

CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or conrad.engstrom@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.

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