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Fairmont Area girls hockey edges Worthington

SAVING SLIDE — Fairmont Area goaltender Hadley Artz (right) slides over to stop a shot by Worthington’s Ashton Fogelman (black jersey 9) during Big South Conference hockey action Thursday night at Martin County Arena in Fairmont. The Cardinals’ Mackenzie Householder looks on. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — In a battle of goalies, Fairmont Area and freshman Hadley Artz outlasted the Worthington Trojans for a 2-1 Big South Conference victory.

Artz recorded 33 saves to net the girls hockey win for the Cardinals on Thursday at Martin County Arena.

After a Worthington equalizer in the second period, Mackenzie Householder put the Cardinals ahead for good.

Householder stole a Worthington clearing pass near mid ice, looped around to the bleacher-side boards, then attacked toward the net. She passed multiple Trojan defenders before firing the puck into the upper-right corner of the net to put the Cardinals ahead 2-1 with 50 seconds left in the middle period.

Artz and defenders Brooklyn Meyer and Macy Militello held firm in the final period, keeping Worthington off the board.

Artz made seven saves in the final period and both Meyer and Militello chased down attacking Trojans and poked the puck away from behind on fastbreaks. Both Meyer’s and Militello’s excellent defensive play kept Artz from more one-on-one breakaway situations.

Cardinal head coach Ashley Olson said the Cardinals have begun to work more as a team, and she is seeing the results.

“I think we’ve found ourselves here in the last couple of weeks,” Olson said. “The girls are working together, they’re working hard. Their mindset has changed to one that wants to win and we’re finding success with that.”

Joni Becker gave the Cardinals the first lead of the game with under a minute left in the opening period.

Worthington defenders tried to clear the puck out from behind the net, but Becker was waiting in the left faceoff circle, where she collected the pass, deked left to right, then wristed the puck into the upper shelf on the right side.

Both teams’ offenses started slowely in the second period, with neither getting a shot on goal through the first four minutes, but both piled on after. Each team had its highest shot on goal total in the second segment, with Fairmont Area totaling 11 of its 22 and Worthington hitting 20 of its 34.

The Trojans’ Ashton Fogelman hit the equalizer late in the second period.

With 3:03 remaining, Riley Nickel hit a centering pass from behind the net to a waiting Fogelman, who one-timed the puck into the right side of the net.

Both teams had opportunities in the final period. Worthington notched another seven shots on goal, while the Cardinals had six, but both goalies held firm and didn’t allow a final-period goal.

The Cardinal win ends a five-game Trojan winning steak, which started with a 3-2 win over Fairmont Area on Dec. 17 in Worthington.

Fairmont Area (5-10-1, 4-5 Big South) goes on the road to the Benson Civic Center to play Morris/Benson Area at 1 p.m. Saturday in the first half of a girl-boy doubleheader.

Worthington (8-6, 4-5 Big South) plays host to Waseca at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Worthington 0-1-0–1

Fairmont Area 1-1-0–2

Scoring Plays

1st Period

FA–Joni Becker (unassisted), 0:36.

2nd Period

WO–Ashton Fogelman (Riley Nickel), 3:03.

FA–Mackenzie Householder (unassisted), 0:50.

3rd Period

No scoring.

Shots on goal: Fairmont Area 5-11-6–22. Worthington 7-20-7–34.

Saves: Hadley Artz (FA) 33; Kaylee Bents (WO) 20.

Penalties: Fairmont Area 3 for 6 minutes; Worthington 0 for 0 minutes.

Power-play chances: Fairmont Area 0 for 0; Worthington 0 for 3.

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