Cardinals’ Householder nets game-winning goal in OT

CONVERGING — Fairmont Area’s Mackenzie Householder (middle) and Brooklyn Meyer (right) converge on Albert Lea’s Mia Fjelsta (10) during hockey action Saturday at Martin County Arena in Fairmont. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)

CONVERGING — Fairmont Area’s Mackenzie Householder (middle) and Brooklyn Meyer (right) converge on Albert Lea’s Mia Fjelsta (10) during hockey action Saturday at Martin County Arena in Fairmont. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)

FAIRMONT — Earlier in the season, Fairmont Area seventh-grade forward Mackenzie Householder scored her first varsity goal. On Saturday, Householder scored the game-winning goal as the Cardinals took a 3-2 overtime win over the Albert Lea Tigers during at Martin County Arena.

“That was good. I think it probably helped build her (Householder’s) confidence a little bit,” Cardinals head coach Ashley Olson said. “It was something that she needed here today.”

Fairmont Area freshman Joni Becker used one of her two assists to help Householder net the goal at the 3:19 mark of overtime.

Both teams managed a goal in the first and third periods to send the game into an extra period.

“We were evenly matched,” Olson said. “They’re a hard-working team, we’re a hard-working team. It went back-and-forth the whole game, and we came out on top.”

Ironically, the Tigers jumped out to the early lead. Defender Rylee Bjorklund shot the puck, which was deflected by Cardinals senior goalie Sadie Sandersfeld. But Tigers defender Daysha Luttrell was there to stuff the puck in for the score at the 16:19 mark.

Becker answered for the Cardinals seven minutes later by angling in the goal for a 1-1 tie. Neither team scored during the second period, despite many attempts. The Cardinals outshot the Tigers, 14-3, during the frame.

Just before the period ended, however, Fairmont Area lost a player. With less than 30 seconds to go in the period, Cardinals senior forward Taylor Nuss collided with Tigers freshman center Katelyn Steven and hit her head on the ice. Nuss, who had just tried for a shot on goal 10 minutes earlier, was down for several minutes before being carted off the ice. She is now in concussion protocol.

“We just came in the locker room, tell them what they need to do, clear their heads for the last period and do what we need to do,” Olson said.

With 11:20 to go in the third frame, Cardinals junior defender Courtney Williams converted Becker’s other assist into a score. Williams’ mid-range shot gave the Cardinals their first lead of the game at 2-1. The Cardinals continued to keep the Tigers at bay with Sandersfeld using her quick reflexes to deny two Tigers attempts on goal.

But eighth-grade wing Ally Rasmussen caught the Cardinals off guard and scored to avoid the regulation loss. Rasmussen went from one end of the ice to another and took a swing at the puck, which met the back of the net to force overtime play.

Rasmussen almost had a game-winning score at the 4:12 mark of overtime, but her shot went over the goal post.

Householder, however, proved to be a more accurate shooter, making her shot on goal for the one-point victory.

Fairmont Area (5-8-1) travels to Luverne for a 5 p.m. start during Tuesday’s doubleheader, with the Cardinals boys team following.

Albert Lea      1-0-1-0–2

Fairmont        1-0-1-1–3

Scoring Plays

1st Period

AL — Daysha Luttrell (Rylee Bjorklund), 16:19.

FA — Joni Becker (unassisted), 9:33.

2nd Period

No scoring.

3rd Period

FA — Courtney Williams (Becker), 11:20.

AL — Ally Rasmussen (unassisted), shorthanded, 0:30.

Overtime

FA — Mackenzie Householder (Becker), 3:19.

Shots on goal: Fairmont Area 9-14-2-2–27; Albert Lea 9-3-8-1–21.

Saves: Maddie Schneider (AL) 8-14-1-1–24; Sadie Sandersfeld (FA) 8-3-7-1–19.

Penalties: Luverne 3 for 6 minutes; Fairmont Area 1 for 2 minutes.

Power-play chances: Fairmont Area 0-for-6; Luverne 0-for-1.

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