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Rochester Century doubles up Fairmont Area hockey, 8-4

CLEARING THE ZONE — Fairmont Area defender Shaye Dietz (2) looks up the ice at Martin County Arena for an open teammate to puck to during nonconference hockey action in Fairmont. Cardinal goalie Ilana Moeller watches the play. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — The Fairmont Area Cardinals girls hockey team lost 8-4 at home Tuesday night against the Rochester Century Panthers.

Following a slow first period where the Cardinals couldn’t seem to stay out of the penalty box, the team attempted to mount a comeback but fell short at Martin County Arena.

Within the first seven minutes of ice time, the Cardinals picked up four separate minor penalties which resulted in an early 2-0 advantage for the Panthers. Panthers’ freshman forward Katherine Nelson got the scoring underway with an unassisted goal at the 15:17 mark in the first period.

Nelson would finish with a hat trick as the leading force in the Panthers’ attack.

“The first period was a lot of penalties, which is kind of the way the last few games have gone with us taking penalties,” Cardinals head coach Eric Householder said. “A lot of penalties that I would call lazy penalties when it comes to tripping calls, you know it comes down to them not positioning themselves correctly.”

With all the chaos of the first period, the Panthers were able to take a 4-0 lead into the second period.

As the second period got underway, the mental shift in the Cardinals was apparent.

The Panthers got the first goal of the period from senior forward Annika Torbenson, who was fed a pass by junior forward Megan Gamble. The Cardinals would strike back however with 5:45 remaining in the second as freshman forward Frankie Martin assisted junior forward Abi Sundeen to cut the lead to 5-1.

Just 36 seconds later, Panthers’ forward Megan Gamble scored an unassisted goal to give Rochester Century a 6-1 lead entering the third period.

As the third period got underway, the momentum the Cardinals had built during the second period carried over.

With 10:30 remaining, Cardinals’ senior forward Karissa Newville scored on quick counter-attack while they were shorthanded. Less than two minutes later, it was senior forward Bella Larson finding the back of the net off an assist from senior defender Jozie Hoefker. Just like that, Fairmont Area had cut the gap to 6-3 with 8:44 left.

It wouldn’t last long though, as the game’s final four minutes would contain a flurry of goals from both teams.

With 3:39 remaining, Panthers’ forward Katherine Nelson completed her hat trick. With 2:09 left, Cardinals’ forward Frankie Martin nabbed her first varsity goal to make the score 7-4.

The Panthers would get the last point though as Daelyn Williams scored the game’s final goal unassisted to put the game out of reach at 8-4.

“We just needed that spark, that first goal to kind of light the lamp, and then we can kind of go from there,” Householder said. “We definitely saw some improvement in the intensity level and breaking out of their zone. I mean some of our breakouts were spot on the way we have been practicing.”

Fairmont Area will look to continue the new-found confidence at 7:15 p.m. Thursday night against the Eagles at New Ulm.

Rochester Century will head on the road as well by facing off at 7:15 p.m. Thursday night against Big Nine opponent Rochester Mayo.

RC 4 2 2– 8

FA 0 1 3– 4

Scoring Plays

1st Period

RC–Katherine Nelson (15:17), unassisted.

RC–Emilia Gamble (12:12), assisted by Katherine Nelson, PP.

RC–Brianna Hofbauer (8:55), assisted by Daelyn Williams.

RC–Katherine Nelson (1:56), assisted by Daelyn Williams, SH.

2nd Period

RC–Annika Torbenson (13:18), assisted by Megan Gamble.

FA–Abi Sundeen (5:45), assisted by Frankie Martin.

RC–Megan Gamble (5:09), unassisted.

3rd Period

FA–Karissa Newville (10:30), assisted by Abi Sundeen, SH.

FA–Bella Larson (8:44), assisted by Jozie Hoefker.

RC–Katherine Nelson (3:39), unassisted.

FA–Frankie Martin (2:09), assisted by Bella Larson.

RC–Daelyn Williams (1:33), unassisted.

Shots On Goal

Rochester Century — 53

Fairmont Area — 25

Saves

RC — Isabella Scranton — 21

FA — Ilana Moeller — 45

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