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Bluejays squeeze by Cardinals, 2-0

GOOD GLOVE WORK — Waseca Bluejays goaltender Ilamay Draheim (30) gloves a rebound shot by Fairmont Area’s Karissa Newville (16) during Big South Conference hockey action Thursday night at Martin County Arena in Fairmont. Fairmont Area’s Bella Larson (left) made the initial shot on net that Draheim originally blocked during the sequence. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — Whether a family spells the first name with two “a’s” or an “a” and an “e,” Madalyn Benson and Madelyn Malecha generated all of the offense that the Waseca Bluejays hockey team needed Thursday night.

Benson chipped home a power-play goal off an assist from Maizee Storey midway through the third period before Malecha punched home an Izabela Slechta assist to pace Waseca’s 2-0 triumph over the Fairmont Area Cardinals at Martin County Arena in Fairmont.

“It’s the same old story — penalties are hurting us,” Fairmont Area head coach Eric Householder said in reference to his lineup’s five infractions for 10 minutes. “I do know one thing — we definitely did not lose that game by lack of effort.

“I thought the girls played a solid two-and-a-half periods tonight, ran out of gas a little near the end, and then committed a costly penalty that Waseca capitalized on in the third (period).”

Cardinals’ netminder Hadley Artz delivered another stonewall performance, turning away all 14 of the Bluejays’ opening-period shots, including a quick-reflex knee pad stop on a Malecha breakaway chance at the 10-minute juncture.

Waseca eighth-grade phenom Ilamay Draheim proved worthy of the goalkeeping challenge by halting all seven of Fairmont Area’s first-period blasts before denying access to the webbing on 13 during the second 17-minute segment.

Draheim stopped an Abi Sundeen chip from the left doorstep at the 15:45 mark of the second period before halting Hannah Goerndt’s end-to-end rush and backhanded flip with 8:50 remaining.

Draheim proved her mettle by gloving a Corene Moeller left-wing slapshot, turning away Bella Larson’s one-timer and preventing Maia Goerndt from converting a steal inside the blue line into a quick goal during the final 5 minutes of the second frame.

Draheim finished with 27 saves to earn the shutout for Waseca, while Artz recorded a game-best 42 stops in the narrow loss for Fairmont Area.

“We played a better game tonight than we did against them in the season-opener (on Nov. 15) — a 5-2 loss,” said Householder. “However, we still have to remember to go hard for all three 17-minute periods and we need to finish on the offensive end.”

Fairmont Area (1-3-1) travels to Graham Arena in Rochester on Tuesday night to face Mayo High School in a non-league game, while Waseca (4-2) hits the road to Luverne on Saturday for a noon Big South Conference clash.

Waseca 0-0-2–2

Fairmont 0-0-0–0

Scoring Plays

1st Period

No scoring.

2nd Period

No scoring.

3rd Period

WAS–Madalyn Benson (Maizee Storey), PP., 9:42.

WAS–Madelyn Malecha (Izabela Slechta), 6:57.

Shots-on-goal: Waseca 14-8-22–44; Fairmont Area 7-13-7–27.

Saves: Hadley Artz (FMT) 42; Ilamay Draheim (WAS) 27.

Penalties: Fairmont Area 5 for 10 minutes; Waseca 2 for 4 minutes.

Power-play chances: Waseca 1-for-5; Fairmont Area 0-for-2.

Boys Hockey

Waseca 6, Fairmont Area 5 — Kyle Ahlschlager produced a game-best four goals, including a natural hat trick that bridged the first and second periods, to help the Bluejays stave off the Cardinals’ comeback, 6-5, during Big South Conference action Thursday night in Waseca.

Nate Rakness staked the Cardinals to a 1-0 lead by converting Jace Prindle’s pass into a goal at the 7:43 mark of the first period, but Ahlschlager and Lucas Groll capitalized on a pair of Fairmont Area penalties to generate back-to-back goals.

Ahlschlager delivered the equalizer off a Groll assist during a power-play 15:24 into the initial segment.

Ahlschlager and Groll worked the same combination just 31 seconds into the second segment to grab a 2-1 Bluejays’ lead. Ahlschlager then produced his third consecutive goal — unassisted — to build a two-goal margin. Griffin Krautkremer’s unassisted short-handed tally widened Waseca’s gap to 4-1 just 4:47 into the middle period.

Fairmont Area, however, answered by reeling off third consecutive goals to bridge the second and third periods to draw the visitors even on the scoreboard at 4-all.

Lincoln Becker triggered the offensive breakout by finding the twine on a double-assist from Tyson Pankow and Beau Becker before Cardinal teammate Brock Lutterman delivered a power-play goal off Jace Teveldal’s assist at the 10:38 mark of the second.

Fairmont Area’s Luke Kester then knotted the game at 4-all by cashing in a short-handed unassisted goal only 2:58 into the third period.

Ahlschlager answered by smacking home an unassisted goal less than a minute later at the 3:34 juncture before Teveldal cashed in a double-helper from Lutterman and Beau Becker for a 5-all score at the 8:43 mark.

Hunter Anderson notched a power-play goal unassisted with 2:24 remaining in regulation to snap the tie and swing an eventual one-goal win to Waseca.

Netminder Carson Johnson made a game-best 29 saves for Fairmont Area, which managed 16 shots on goal.

Fairmont Area (0-1) plays host to Faribault at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Martin County Arena in Fairmont.

Fairmont 1-2-2–5

Waseca 1-3-2–6

Scoring Plays

1st Period

FMT–Nate Rakness (Jace Prindle), 7:43.

WAS–Kyle Ahlschlager (Lucas Groll), PP., 15:24.

2nd Period

WAS–Kyle Ahlschlager (Lucas Groll), PP., 0:31.

WAS–Kyle Ahlschlager (unassisted), 2:43.

WAS–Griffin Krautkremer (unassisted), SH., 4:57.

FMT–Lincoln Becker (Tyson Pankow, Beau Becker), 5:03.

FMT–Brock Lutterman (Jace Teveldal), PP., 10:38.

3rd Period

FMT–Luke Kester (unassisted), SH., 2:58.

WAS–Kyle Ahlschlager (unassisted), 3:34.

FMT–Jace Teveldal (Brock Lutterman, Beau Becker), 8:43.

WAS–Hunter Anderson (unassisted), PP., 14:36.

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