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Artz sets save mark; No. 14 Luverne coasts by Fairmont Area

DOUBLING DOWN — Fairmont Area defenders Corene Moeller (12) and Harper Artz (right) double down to swipe the puck from Luverne’s Mallory Nelson (9) during Big South Conference hockey action Tuesday night at Martin County Arena in Fairmont. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — Thanksgiving is only two days away, but Fairmont Area head girls hockey coach Eric Householder and the hometown Cardinals were grateful to have Hadley Artz between the pipes on Tuesday night.

Fairmont Area senior netminder Hadley Artz turned away an incredible 71 of Class A No. 14-ranked Luverne’s 79 shots on goal to eclipse her previous single-game school record of 64.

Luverne mentor Tony Sandbulte, albeit 48 hours early, also proved appreciative of Minnesota State University-Mankato hockey commit Kamryn Van Batavia’s puck-handling and goal-scoring skills.

Kamryn Van Batavia erupted for a game-best four goals from her center position, while sophomore wing Payton Behr netted one goal and doled out a game-best three assists to help Luverne overcome Hadley Artz’s record-setting performance via an 8-0 Big South Conference victory over Fairmont Area at Martin County Arena.

“That was one heckuva night in net for Hadley,” said Fairmont Area head coach Eric Householder, whose lineup generated only four shots on goal — Shaye Dietz in the first frame, Brooklyn Murphy during the second, Corene Moeller and Alexandra Martin both in the final 17 minutes. “I thought she (Artz) had excellent ice vision tonight. I really believe there was not one shot she didn’t track on the game.”

Hadley Artz utilized her glove, stick, shin pads and skates to deny Greta McClure, Kamryn Van Batavia and Ellisyn Van Batavia access to the twine on three blasts apiece before Luverne finally lit the lamp on its 18th shot of the opening period.

Isabella Steensma went top shelf from the right wing off the first of two assists by Tenley Behr to stake the visiting Cardinals to a 1-0 lead with 6:19 remaining in the initial 17-minute segment.

Kamryn Van Batavia, who entered her fourth game of the season with nine points on the strength of eight goals, closed out the final 5 minutes of the first period with back-to-back goals off assists from Payton Behr.

Payton Behr pocketed a steal near the blue line and fed Van Batavia, who rushed the right side and slapped home a top right shelf goal at the 5:05 mark. Van Batavia etched seasonal goal No. 10 by taking a left-wing angle and deposited the puck into the top corner off another crossing pass from Payton Behr for a three-goal lead with 2:31 left in the first.

McClure drilled a doorstep blast into the right corner of the net off an assist from Tenley Behr to open the second-period scoring for Luverne at the 12:15 juncture.

Ellisyn Van Batavia punched home a left-side ricochet after Hadley Artz blocked McClure’s initial right-wing blast with 8:27 left in the middle frame.

Payton Behr then transformed from playmaker to scorer by wristing home a right-to-left top-shelf drive to widen Luverne’s lead to 6-0 with 2:31 left in the second.

Kamryn Van Batavia capped the game’s scoring with back-to-back net-finding swats during the third segment. Van Batavia went top shelf off the third and final helper from Payton Behr before Van Batavia tapped her fourth goal in off the third Tenley Behr assist via the power play.

Luverne goalie Mallory Von Tersch, who entered the game with 55 saves in three games, made four stops to net the shutout win.

Fairmont Area (1-2) travels to All Seasons Arena in Mankato on Saturday for a 1 p.m. nonconference game against Mankato West.

Luverne (4-0) plays host to Marshall at 7 p.m. next Tuesday night in another conference contest.

Luverne 3-3-2–8

Fairmont 0-0-0–0

Scoring Plays

1st Period

LUV–Isabella Steensma (Tenley Behr), 6:19.

LUV–Kamryn Van Batavia (Payton Behr), 5:05.

LUV–Kamryn Van Batavia (Payton Behr), 2:31.

2nd Period

LUV–Greta McClure (Tenley Behr), 12:15.

LUV–Ellisyn Van Batavia (Greta McClure), 8:27.

LUV–Payton Behr (unassisted), 2:31.

3rd Period

LUV–Kamryn Van Batavia (Payton Behr), 16:08.

LUV–Kamryn Van Batavia (Tenley Behr), PP., 9:37.

Shots-on-goal: Luverne 79; Fairmont Area 4.

Saves: Hadley Artz (FMT) 71; Mallory Von Tersch (LUV) 4.

Penalties: Fairmont Area 4 for 8 minutes; Luverne 2 for 4 minutes. Note: Double-player infraction one time.

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

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