New Ulm breezes by Fairmont Area, 14-2

TRIANGLE DEFENSE — Fairmont Area’s Mackenzie Householder (9), Erica Serna (6) and Joni Becker (mid-back) surround New Ulm forward Jayda Helget during Big South Conference hockey action Tuesday night at Martin County Arena in Fairmont. (Photo by Greg Abel)

TRIANGLE DEFENSE — Fairmont Area’s Mackenzie Householder (9), Erica Serna (6) and Joni Becker (mid-back) surround New Ulm forward Jayda Helget during Big South Conference hockey action Tuesday night at Martin County Arena in Fairmont. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — Ali Beltz was all over the ice on Tuesday at Martin County Arena. The senior forward totaled six points to lead the New Ulm Eagles over the Fairmont Area Cardinals, 14-2, during Big South Conference girls hockey action.

“Her, Ashtyn (Wiltscheck) and Dani (Weiss), they all work well together. They have a lot of speed and skill,” Eagles head coach Kristin Faber said. “Ali, specifically, she sees the ice very well. She’s got a good shot and able to put some pucks in.”

Wiltscheck and Weiss both contributed two goals with the former adding an assist, while senior forward Caleigh Heck netted a hat trick in the win.

The Eagles came out quickly, putting the Cardinals on defense for nearly two straight minutes. Despite the home team’s attempt to clear the puck out of its territory, Beltz nabbed a loose puck and sent it in at the 15:02 mark. Wiltscheck then used a flick-pass from junior forward Jackie Cowing, who had a hat trick’s worth of assists, to make a 2-0 game five minutes later.

Beltz then profitted on the Eagles’ defense poking the puck away from the Cardinals for her second score of the night.

Sophomore forward Joni Becker broke up the Eagles’ scoring with 11:19 remaining in the period. Becker’s soft shot glided past junior goalie Cassie Reed, who finished with eight saves, to get the Cardinals on the board.

The Eagles, however, answered with four more goals to go up, 7-1, after the first.

“Getting seven (goals) in the first was them moving the puck, creating some good opportunities and putting them in the net, so it’s good to see,” Faber said.

Beltz went from scorer to helper, assisting on goals from freshman forward Morgan Klein and Weiss.

With 10:32 left in the first frame, Eagles wing Molly Scheid was denied an assist when Cardinals goalie Emily O’Connor rejected junior forward Alex Docherty’s shot. Instead, Scheid got a goal, rebounding the blocked shot. Heck provided the Eagles with a goal as well.

The Cardinals held the Eagles to only two goals in the second period for a 9-2 game after 34 minutes. Beltz earned her third and final goal in the period, while Cowing’s second assist allowed Scheid her second and final score.

Heck scored two of of her three goals for a total of five in the third period, which featured a running-time clock.

Wiltscheck provided Weiss with an assist before Beltz gave Wiltscheck the helper on her second goal of the night. Cowing dished out an assist to sophomore defender Ally Steffensmeier to get seven Eagles in the scoring department.

“They’re a very skilled team. They move their feet, they work the puck well,” Cardinals head coach Ashley Olson said. “They have skills and knowledge of the game, and that’s sometimes hard to defend.”

Cardinals eighth-grade forward Emily Sokoloski spoiled Reed’s third-period shutout bid, scoring her first varsity goal with 6:19 left in the game.

“(It was) huge for her and huge for our team,” Olson said.

O’Connor finished with a game-high 51 saves for the Cardinals.

Fairmont Area (0-9) plays at Morris/Benson Area at 3 p.m. Saturday, while New Ulm (8-2) travels to Windom Area on Thursday.

FA 1-0-1– 2

NU 7-2-5–14

SCORING PLAYS

1st Period

NU — Ali Beltz (unassisted), 15:02.

NU — Ashtyn Wiltscheck (Jackie Cowing), 12:56.

NU — Beltz (unassisted), 11:46.

FA — Joni Becker (unassisted), 11:19.

NU — Molly Scheid (Alex Docherty), 10:32.

NU — Lauren Klein (Beltz), 8:47.

NU — Caleigh Heck (unassisted), 5:36.

NU — Dani Weiss (Beltz), 3:10.

2nd Period

NU — Scheid (Cowing), 5:52.

NU — Beltz (unassisted), 1:02.

3rd Period

NU — Heck (unassisted), 15:54.

NU — Weiss (Wiltscheck), 14:07.

NU — Ally Steffensmeier (Cowing), 12:27.

NU — Heck (unassisted), 10:41.

FA — Emily Sokoloski (unassisted), 6:19.

NU — Wiltscheck (Beltz), 3:08.

Shots on goal: New Ulm 28-25-12–65; Fairmont Area 2-3-5–10.

Saves: Emily O’Connor (FA) 21-23-7–51; Cassie Reed (NU) 1-3-4–8.

Penalties: Fairmont Area none; New Ulm none.

Power-play chances: Fairmont Area none; New Ulm none.

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