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New Ulm edges Fairmont Area girls hockey, 2-1

COLLISION IN THE CREASE — Fairmont Area netminder Hadley Artz (35) absorbs the impact of New Ulm defender Afton Hulke’s contact in the crease as Cardinal defender Harper Artz (5) sprawls from the collision during Big South Conference hockey action Thursday night at Martin County Arena in Fairmont. New Ulm’s Jersey Haugen (6) watches the action. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — Despite being outshot by a nearly 3-to-1 margin, Fairmont Area senior goaltender Hadley Artz and her Cardinal hockey teammates made Thursday night’s game against perennial powerhouse New Ulm a down-to-the-wire nail-biter in Fairmont.

Hadley Artz collected a game-best 47 saves, but the visiting Eagles converted Jada Rahe’s power-play goal into a 2-1 Big South Conference victory over the upset-minded Cardinals at Martin County Arena.

“Hadley delivered another exceptional night in net,” said Fairmont Area head coach Eric Householder. “It was definitely another well-deserved game puck for her tonight.”

Ironically, all three of the game’s goals were tallied in the first 17-minute period.

Michelle Smith staked New Ulm to a quick 1-0 lead on the scoreboard by converting Afton Hulke’s assist into a net-finding shot 1:44 into the contest.

Abi Sundeen, however, collected the equalizer for the Cardinals 11:47 into the first frame. Sundeen smacked home the puck off a double-assist from Harper Artz and Jozie Hoefker to net a 1-all tie.

Rahe then regained the upperhand on the scoreboard for the Eagles by cashing in Brooke Arneson’s assist for a power-play goal with just 6 seconds remaining in the first period.

Hadley Artz then slammed the brakes on 21 second-period shots by New Ulm (5-3) and 14 more in the third as the Eagles produced a 49-16 edge in the offensive category for the game.

“It was a very intense and hard-fought game from our entire team. They worked as one unit tonight and never stopped grinding,” said Householder. “This game was the momentum-builder we have been looking for. They played hard for three solid periods — something we’ve been falling short of.

Fairmont Area (1-5-1) hits the road to Worthington on Tuesday night for another conference game.

Boys Hockey

New Ulm 11, Fairmont Area 2 — Forward Kaden Larson produced a game-best hat trick and teammate Bryer Lang generated two goals to power the Eagles to an 11-2 Big South Conference victory over the Cardinals on Thursday night in New Ulm.

Tyler Kurt collected the first goal of his varsity career for Fairmont Area, while Brock Lutterman contributed a goal.

Fairmont Area (0-3) travels to LaCrescent-Hokah on Saturday for a 3 p.m. nonconference game, while New Ulm (4-0) plays host to Luverne at 7 p.m. tonight.

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