Tigers hockey claws Cardinals, 8-2

LINE-DRIVE SHOT — Fairmont Area’s Anna Nordquist (2) unleashes a shot on goal at Marshall goaltender Emma Klenken during Big South Conference hockey action Thursday night at Martin County Arena in Fairmont. (Photo by Greg Abel)

LINE-DRIVE SHOT — Fairmont Area’s Anna Nordquist (2) unleashes a shot on goal at Marshall goaltender Emma Klenken during Big South Conference hockey action Thursday night at Martin County Arena in Fairmont. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — Although the Fairmont Area Cardinals and Marshall Tigers both have fairly young girls hockey teams, the Tigers were able to get the early edge on the home team.

Sydney Mauch netted a hat trick, while Olivia Peterson dished out four assists in the Tigers’ 8-2 Big South Conference win over the Cardinals on Thursday night at Martin County Arena.

The Tigers have now won three of their last four games.

“It was just a close game overall,” Cardinals head coach Ashley Olson said. “The intensity was high and the speed was fast.”

The Tigers, whose starting lineup featured three freshmen including goalie Emma Klenken, struck first, building a 3-0 lead after the first period.

Peterson and Mauch both provided freshman forward Izabella Hunsley with assists at the 10:50 and 3:02 marks, respectively, to get the Tigers going.

With less than a minute to play in the period, forward Jadyn Briffett was able to put back forward Rachel VanKeulen’s blocked shot.

The Cardinals robbed Klenken of another shutout period when freshman forward Brooklyn Meyer slapped a shot in from near the blue line to narrow the home team’s deficit to two with 8:07 to go in the second. Eighth-grade defender Macy Militello provided Meyer with the outlet pass.

“That was her (Meyer’s) first goal this season and I think us just being able to put one away in a game that was close,” Cardinals head coach Ashley Olson said. “Making it 3-1 gave us some momentum and intensity to just keep battling harder there in the second.”

Peterson then connected with Mauch 5 minutes later to restore the Tigers’ three-goal advantage.

The Cardinals responded with 2:31 remaining when sophomore forward Joni Becker rebounded eighth-grade defender Mackenzie Householder’s missed attempt.

VanKeulen, however, took advantage of a one-on-one situation with Cardinals senior goalie Emily O’Connor and banked in a shot for a 5-2 advantage going into the third.

A minute and a half into the final period, freshman forward Kaitlyn Timm worked around the Cardinals’ defense and used Briffett’s assist to put the Tigers up, 6-2.

“We’ve gotta work on picking bodies up in front of the net,” Olson said. “A lot of the time, there’s an opposing player that’s open and we’ve got to just work at taking that lane and target away.”

Peterson and Mauch then connected on the next two goals to finish the game in running time. Peterson passed up the ice to Mauch for the second goal, then swiped a pass to Mauch from behind the net at the 3:57 mark of the period.

“They work so in sync with each other. Those two set each other up all the time,” Tigers’ first-year head coach Deanna Suby said, adding that a switch in the team’s lineup has been helpful. “Her (Mauch) and her linemates have been playing together for the last couple of weeks. We changed things up and she’s been a really strong asset to her linemates.”

O’Connor made 56 saves on 64 shots faced, while Klenken had 14 saves against a Cardinals team that attempted 16 shots on goal.

Fairmont Area (1-11) plays Luverne and Marshall (6-6) faces Owatonna in the Schwan’s Cup Tournament on Thursday in Blaine.

Fairmont 0-2-0–2

Marshall 3-2-3–8

SCORING PLAYS

1st Period

M — Izabella Hunsley (Olivia Peterson), 10:50.

M — Hunsley (Sydney Mauch), 3:02.

M — Jadyn Briffett (Rachel VanKeulen), 0:22.

2nd Period

FA — Brooklyn Meyer (Macy Militello), 8:07.

M — Mauch (Peterson), 3:01.

FA — Joni Becker (Mackenzie Householder), 2:31.

M — VanKeulen (unassisted), 2:16.

3rd Period

M — Kaitlyn Timm (Briffett), 15:30.

M — Mauch (Peterson), 12:06.

M — Mauch (Peterson), 3:57.

Shots on goal: Marshall 22-22-20–64; Fairmont Area 4-8-4–16.

Saves: Emily O’Connor (FA) 19-20-17–56; Emma Klenken (M) 4-6-4–14.

Penalties: Marshall 1 for 2 minutes; Fairmont Area 0 for 0 minutes.

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

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