Luverne girls ice Fairmont Area, 7-0

WRISTER — Fairmont Area’s Mackenzie Householder (9) prepares to wrist a shot on goal as Luverne’s Kamryn Van Batavia (left) attempts to defend during Big South Conference hockey action Tuesday night at Martin County Arena. Fairmont’s Area’s Anna Nordquist (back) and Macy Militello (right) watch the action. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — Kamryn Van Batavia is only a seventh-grader, but is already making her presence known on the ice.

The wing produced three points, including an assist to help sophomore defender Claire Baustian to a hat trick, during Luverne’s 7-0 win over the short-handed Fairmont Area Cardinals on Tuesday night.

Fairmont Area was able to keep Luverne, who beat Fairmont Area, 6-0, at the beginning of the season, at bay for a good portion of the first period.

“We’ve been doing a lot of team-building (activities), and the girls have been doing a good job picking each other up. I think that really helped us in the beginning of the game,” Fairmont Area head coach Ashley Olson said.

The youthful visiting Cardinals, however, finally broke through and rattled in two goals in one minute. Fairmont Area was assessed a two-minute penalty for hooking, and Luverne capitalized.

The hometown Cardinals tried to ice it, but eighth-grade defender Reghan Bork tracked down the puck, bringing it from one end to the other. She then took it around the goal, giving freshman forward Shelby Kracht time to set up and put in the power-play goal with 4:56 to go in the opening period.

“I think it definitely hurts us when we’ve got 10 skaters on the bench when we have to take a penalty and play shorthanded,” Olson said. “(We have) 10 skaters and two were missing tonight, so it hurts us and it’s hard for us to play three periods.”

Around 40 seconds after, Baustian picked up the puck near the blue line and skated in for a perfectly-timed goal for a 2-0 score going into the first break.

Luverne also has a penalty, for interference, but the stingy defense held Fairmont Area to only one shot on goal during the two minutes and four total in the period.

Luverne picked up the pace in the middle period, posting five goals. Baustian used a pass from Van Batavia, the team’s point leader with 31 on the season, for a shot.

Senior goalie Emily O’Connor rejected the first shot, but Baustian rebounded her own attempt and was more successful this time at the 13:24 mark of the period.

O’Connor finished the game with 38 saves and marked a shutout third period.

“She made some really big saves and will continue to do that for the rest of her senior season,” Olson said.

Baustian later earned a hat trick to cap off the five-goal frame, allowing for running time in the third period.

Minutes after her helper, Van Batavia entered the scoring department with a power-play goal. Freshman center Rozilyn Oye assisted on the goal.

Van Batavia went right back to her assisting ways, passing out to Bork for a slapshot goal with 5:46 left in the period.

Emilie Bartels turned away 13 shots to earn the shutout win.

Fairmont Area (1-16) plays at Worthington on Thursday.

Luverne 2-5-0–7

Fairmont 0-0-0–0

Scoring Plays

1st Period

L — Shelby Kracht (Reghan Bork), pp., 4:56.

L — Claire Baustian (unassisted), 4:19.

2nd Period

L — Baustian (Van Batavia), short, 13:24.

L — Van Batavia (Rozilyn Oye), pp., 7:13.

L — Lexi Henrichs (Van Batavia), 6:56.

L — Bork (Baustian), 5:46.

L — Baustian (unassisted), 2:56.

3rd Period

No scoring.

Shots on goal: Luverne 19-22-4-45; Luverne 4-5-4-13.

Saves: Emilie O’Connor (FA) 17-17-4-37; Emily Bartels (L) 4-5-4-13.

Penalties: Fairmont Area 5 for 10 minutes: Luverne 3 for 6 minutes.

Power-play chances: Luverne 2-for-5; Fairmont Area 0-for-3.