Winona coasts to win over Fairmont Area

TAKING A SHOT — Fairmont Area’s Tyler Kurt (right) maneuvers around Winona defender John Vail (8) to release a shot on goal during non-league hockey action Saturday afternoon at Martin County Area in Fairmont. The Cardinals’ Lincoln Becker (background) watches the action. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — Playing back-to-back games in any sport can take a toll on any athlete. You just have to hope that the next day fatigue won’t be a factor.

In Saturday’s nonconference match-up with the Winona Winhawks, the Fairmont Area Cardinals boys hockey team just simply ran out of gas in a 8-1 defeat inside Martin County Arena.

“They were definitely tired physically and mentally. Our first-shift guys were coming back saying they were tired and their legs were dead. It’s to be expected, but not that quick. We just got to work on conditioning, we are getting towards the end of the year,” Fairmont Area head coach Dylan VanBrocklin said. “We didn’t play our game for three periods. We still threw the puck too much. We didn’t have the right guy in the right position. There was a couple times we’d be in the corner and we wouldn’t look and just throw it to the middle where we should have had somebody there.”

For the eighth time this year, the Cardinals allowed a hat trick as Winona junior right wing Teis Larsen earned his second hat trick of the year.

“That might be our weakness. They are obviously good players. We’ve got to figure out how to shut them down. We have to out-number them. You can’t give them so much time and space — they are going to make you pay for it,” VanBrocklin said.

Larsen knew the Cardinals wouldn’t be at full strength from playing the previous night in a 4-2 comeback victory over Redwood Valley while scoring his first goal 59 seconds into the game on the Winhawks’ first shot attempt.

On Larsen’s second goal, he was able to take advantage of a one-on-one breakaway by lifting the puck in the air, placing it on the right side of the net to lead 2-0 6:46 into the first period.

The Winhawks would go on to score two more goals in the first period and lead 4-0. Larsen collected two of his game-high three assists. Senior forward Wesylee Kohner got the puck past a sliding Cardinal goalie Carson Johnson for his eighth goal of the year 11:38 into the period. Senior defenseman Easton Kronebush cashed in on a bounced puck off that hit Johnson’s pad at the 15:16 mark.

Coming out of the locker room it would only take 8 seconds for Larsen to successfully score his 19th goal of the year, crediting the assist from sophomore defenseman Aven Prodzinski to extend the Winhawks’ lead to 5-0.

“The first one, I saw the opportunity to come out and wrapped it. The second one, I saw the puck in the neutral zone. I took it away, came in, seen it go off the post and went in. The third one got in there, decided to get a good puck that one and went in,” Larsen said. “I thought the second one was the prettiest. I saw the post and once I lifted my stick I was going to get it in there. The third one we were ready to go. Prodzinski gave me a great pass coming into the zone. Seeing how both defenders were split apart from each other, I thought I could get a good shot on the net.”

The Cardinals’ offense had golden opportunities to get back within striking distance as senior forward Nate Rakness saw two looks and junior defenseman Mathew Cone slapped three shots in the final three minutes of the second period, but couldn’t cash in on Winhawks junior goalie Michael Dubek. Cone made a heads-up defensive play with 8:34 remaining in the second frame to save a possible fourth goal by Larsen as the puck suddenly stopped in the blue crease.

“We just have to capitalize. If we did,º it would be closer game. I think we are a better team than what we are showing right now. We got to step up and make the plays. We got to finish when we have chances. I thought two of them should have went in. We had the momentum,” Cone said. “The puck was sitting in the crease. He (Larsen) hacked at it once and was reloading and just missed it.”

Cardinals senior forward Brock Lutterman earned his eighth goal of the season 10:30 into the third segment, crediting the assists to sophomore defenseman Tyler Kurt and junior forward Lucas Sommers with Fairmont Area trailing 7-1.

“I got a pass through the neutral zone. I took a shot and saw the rebound go back to our defenseman. I came around the net and looked to get to the front it ended up right there and tapped it home. I don’t think he knew where the puck was until I shoved it by him and he was looking at the back of the net,” Lutterman said. “We weren’t getting any bounces. When we got that one, I knew we had to capitalize on it. We had a lot of scoring chances, but couldn’t capitalize tonight. It’s been the tale the last couple games. Tonight we had our chances but we have to work on burying them the next couple games.”

Inside the goal, Johnson saved 32 of 40 chances, while Dubek secured 23 of 24 to earn the win for the Winhawks.

Fairmont Area (5-12) returns to Big South Conference play Tuesday night at Marshall. The Cardinals lost 4-1 to Marshall earlier in the season and will try to snap a 23-game losing streak to the Tigers dating back to 2005.

Girls Hockey

Albert Lea 7, Fairmont Area 0 — Haley Austinson produced two goals and one assist, while teammate Mika Cichosz netted one goal and two helpers to steer the Tigers to a 7-0 nonconference win over the Cardinals on Saturday in Albert Lea.

Haley Austinson cashed in a double-assist from Hanna Austinson and Olivia Ellsworth only 1:16 into the first period to trigger a four-goal outburst during the initial 17 minutes of play.

Shelby Evans scored an unassisted goal before Haley Austinson set up Morgan Goskeson’s net-finding shot during the opening segment. Cichosz then assisted Liley Steven’s power-play goal with only 41 seconds remaining in the first frame.

Cichosz and Hanna Austinson combined on a double-assist to trigger Haley Austinson’s second goal of the game just 1:46 into the second segment.

Cichosz closed out the middle period with an unassisted goal before Sydney Kolker chipped in an unassisted score during the third frame.

Cardinal goalie Hadley Artz recorded a game-leading 35 saves as the Tigers generated a staggering 42-9 edge in shots-on-goal.

Fairmont Area (4-12-3) plays host to Albert Lea (13-7-1) in a back-to-back matchup at 7 p.m. tonight at Martin County Arena.

Fairmont            0-0-0–0

Albert Lea          4-2-1–7

Scoring Plays

1st Period

AL–Haley Austinson (Hanna Austinson, Olivia Ellsworth), 1:16.

AL–Shelby Evans (unassisted), 12:21.

AL–Morgan Goskeson (Haley Austinson), 13:27.

AL–Liley Steven (Mika Cichosz), PP., 16:19.

2nd Period

AL–Haley Austinson (Mika Cichosz, Hanna Austinson), 1:46.

AL–Mika Cichosz (unassisted), 4:26.

3rd Period

AL–Sydney Kolker (unassisted), 11:54.


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