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Cardinals girls hockey nets 1st victory of season

Fairmont's Becker, Householder net 2 goals each in 'W'

SPRAWLING SAVE — Fairmont Area goaltender Rachel O’Connor (1) smothers a shot by Waseca’s Paige Benson (blue 7) as the Cardinals’ Brooklyn Meyer (second from right) helps defend on the play during Big South Conference hockey action Tuesday night at Martin County Arena in Fairmont. The Cardinals’ Jozie Hoefker (right) watches the action. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — Jayde Pederson single-handedly kept Waseca even on the scoreboard at 2-all after two completed hockey periods before Fairmont Area co-captains Joni Becker and Mackenzie Householder took control in the third.

Becker netted both of her goals during the final 17 minutes, while Householder tallied her second goal of the Big South Conference contest Tuesday night and doled out an assist to power the Cardinals to their first victory of the season — a 5-3 decision over the visiting Bluejays.

“I just told our players three things during the second intermission: keep their feet moving, take quality shots and keep the puck low,” said Fairmont Area head coach Ashley Olson.

Knotted at 2-2, Becker needed only 48 seconds into the final frame to stake the Cardinals to a lead they would not relinquish. The senior forward took a crossing pass from defender Alexis Newville, rushed the right wing and drilled a wrister by Waseca freshman goalie Timothea Volkmer for a power-play goal.

With the Bluejays’ Miranda Breck having to sit in the penalty box for her entire 5-minute major, Householder netted another power-play goal for the Cardinals only 18 seconds later for a 4-2 lead.

Householder intercepted an errant Waseca clearing pass and unleashed a right-wing blast that nestled in the webbing.

“We seemed to get bunched up during the first two periods and finally created some gaps to skate through or get a shot off,” said Olson. “Our positioning was a huge reason for our three goals in the third.”

Center Paige Benson, however, whittled Waseca’s deficit to 4-3 by collecting a loose puck near center ice, rushed the right wing, made a nice cross-over move and flipped her shot past Fairmont Area netminder Rachel O’Connor at the 12:46 juncture.

O’Connor, along with defenders Macy Militello, Brooklyn Meyer and Alexis Newville, denied the Bluejays access to the net for the final 12 minutes before Becker and Householder combined for an insurance goal.

O’Connor made two of her 22 saves to turn away Pederson empty-handed on the Waseca sniper’s right-wing rush before Militello, Meyer and Newville each blocked shots to keep the puck away from the net during the final 6 minutes of regulation.

Householder later settled the puck in the Cardinals’ defensive zone, spotted Becker sprinting into open ice on the left wing and put the pass on her teammate’s stick. Becker sped by two Bluejay defenders, rushed the left wing and buried her ice-hugging shot through the five-hole for a 5-3 lead with 3:50 remaining.

Hannah Goerndt converted Militello’s assist into a wide-angled, left-wing goal over Volkmer’s right shoulder to stake Fairmont Area to a 1-0 lead with 4:13 remaining in the opening period.

Pederson capitalized on Waseca’s 5-on-3 power-play opportunity only 43 seconds into the second period, snapping a net-finding wrister by O’Connor for the equalizer.

Householder temporarily regained the lead for the Cardinals by hammering a blue-line blast that hugged the pipe before catching the net via an assist from Alexis Newville. The short-handed goal came at the 11:18 mark.

Pederson tied the game again by pocketing a steal near the blue line, skated hard left and stuffed the puck between O’Connor and the left pipe at the 9:32 juncture.

Fairmont Area (1-3, 1-0 BSC) plays host to Morris/Benson Area at 1 p.m. Saturday at Martin County Arena in a nonconference game.

Waseca (0-3, 0-1) plays host to Worthington at 1 p.m. Saturday in another Big South contest.

Waseca 0-2-1–3

Fairmont 1-1-3–5

Scoring Plays

1st Period

FA–Hannah Goerndt (Macy Militello), 4:13.

2nd Period

WAS–Jayde Pederson (unassisted), PP, 16:17.

FA–Mackenzie Householder (Alexis Newville), SH, 11:18.

WAS–Pederson (unassisted), 9:32.

3rd Period

FA–Joni Becker (A. Newville), PP, 16:12.

FA–Householder (unassisted), PP, 15:54.

WAS–Paige Benson (unassisted), 12:46.

FA–Becker (Householder), 3:50.

Shots on goal: Fairmont Area 9-14-10–33; Waseca 5-10-10–25.

Saves: Rachel O’Connor (FA) 22; Timothea Volkmer (WAS) 28.

Penalties: Fairmont Area 5 for 10 minutes; Waseca 3 for 9 minutes.

Power-play chances: Fairmont Area 1-for-2; Waseca 1-for-4.

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