Luverne hockey posts victory over Fairmont Area

3-ON-1 — Fairmont Area’s Karson Legred (white jersey) attempts to slow down Luverne’s 3-on-1 break of Declan Beers (4), Nick Harder (9) and Mark Sterrett (front) during Big South hockey action Tuesday night at Martin County Arena. (Photo by Alexis Cubit)

FAIRMONT — In musical terms, the Luverne Cardinals’ performance on Tuesday night would be described as a crescendo. The defending Section 3A champions scored one goal in the first period, three in the second and finally five in the third for a 9-1 win over the host Fairmont Area Cardinals at Martin County Arena.

“I think part of it is as the game went on, we used our linemates,” said Luverne head coach Phillip Paquette. “We used each other more, so that opened up the ice for us. Really, we were able to spread the ice and play all three lines and wear Fairmont down in the end.”

Senior forward Kasyn Kruse would be the metaphorical first chair, producing five points in the victory. Kruse, Luverne’s leading scorer with 25 goals and 36 points on the season, scored the first-period goal.

Down a player after a cross checking penalty, senior defender Tyler Reisdorfer threaded a pass to Kruse with 3:53 to go in the opening period.

Reisdorfer then dished out an assist to senior forward Coy Gonnerman to start the second period. Senior forward Declan Beers connected with Kruse for for a power-play goal and his second of the night at the 11:02 juncture, before Gonnerman earned his second goal of the night.

Gonnerman, the “second chair,” used a quick slash of the hockey stick to net the goal with an assist from sophomore forward Tyler Roberts 21 seconds before the final intermission for a 4-0 score.

Junior forward Ben Serie passed to Kruse, who scored for a hat trick only 21 seconds after the third period began. Mark Sterrett followed suit nearly a minute later via Beers’ second assist to begin running time.

Roberts and Gonnerman, who netted a hat trick, connected again before Kruse recorded his fourth point via a helper on sophomore forward Colby Crabtree’s score.

Kruse produced the final team score at the 6:29 mark of the final period. Senior defender Jim Erickson swiped a quick pass to Kruse, who raced down the ice and scored.

Carson Kuhl passed to Riley Chaffee, who netted Fairmont Area’s lone goal of the game with 10:11 to go in the contest.

Fairmont Area senior goalie Colby Kuhl allowed only one goal on the first 18 shots faced and finished with 44 saves before coming out of the game around the 11-minute mark of the third period. Sophomore Tyson Geerdes relieved Kuhl and turned away seven of eight shots faced.

Senior Daniel Tofteland made nine saves in the net for Luverne, which beat Fairmont Area, 15-0, in the team’s first meeting of the season on Nov. 28.

Fairmont Area (1-15) hosts Worthington at 7 p.m. Thursday at Martin County Arena. Luverne (10-4) hosts Willmar at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Blue Mound Ice Arena.

Luverne 1-3-5–9

Fairmont 0-0-1–1

Scoring Plays

1st Period

L — Kasyn Kruse (Tyler Reisdorfer), 3:53.

2nd Period

L — Coy Gonnerman (Reisdorfer), 11:12.

L — Kruse (Declan Beers), 11:02.

L — Gonnerman (Tyler Roberts), 0:21.

3rd Period

L — Kruse (Ben Serie), 16:39.

L — Mark Sterrett (Beers), 15:33.

L — Gonnerman (Roberts), 14:52.

L — Colby Crabtree (Kruse), 11:28.

FA — Riley Chaffee (Carson Kuhl), 10:11.

L — Kruse (Jim Erickson), 6:29.

Shots on goal: Luverne 18-25-17–60; Fairmont Area 4-4-2–10.

Saves: Colby Kuhl (FA) 17-22-5–44; Daniel Tofteland (L) 4-4-1–9; Tyson Geerdes (FA) x-x-7–7.

Penalties: Luverne 4 for 8 minutes; Fairmont Area 3 for 6 minutes.

Power-play chances: Luverne 1-for-3; Fairmont Area 0-for-4.