Girls hockey: Fatigue weighs heavy in 11-1 loss for Trojans
WORTHINGTON — A strong start for the Worthington Trojans against Morris-Benson Area wouldn’t stick.
Running on vapors after a busy schedule of games and little practice time — sans one of their leading players in junior defender Allison Kremer due to an injury suffered in a Friday night game at St. Peter/LeSueur-Henderson — the Trojans surrendered 11 unanswered goals Saturday afternoon in girls hockey and were held quiet for the game’s final 46 minutes in an 11-1 loss at home.
“We had a great start, but we’ve played seven games in 10 days and you could see that. As the periods went on we were just exhausted,” Worthington head coach Eric Milbrath admitted after the game.
The Trojans took a 1-0 lead on a third-chance goal by freshman wing Taylor Bryngelson — with assists credited to eighth-grader Bailey Kruse and junior Betsy Thompson — 4:23 into the game following muffed shots by both Kruse and Thompson. The score happened to be Bryngelson’s third of her varsity career and her third in the team’s last three outings.
“She was so close all year long and finally it happened,” Milbrath said. “She’s over the hump and it’s all downhill for her now hopefully. We hope she keeps putting them in the net for us.
“Our top line play was good for the whole game like they have been the last three or four games,” he added “They’ll hopefully stick together. We’re a little banged up and that affects us big time.”
M-BA got its spark 32 seconds after Bryngelson’s and didn’t look back. The fire initially came from sophomore forward Hanna Lindblad, but a host of players scored for the Storm. Lindblad scored the team’s first pair of goals — one 4:55 in on an assist credited to sophomore Kelsey Rajewsky and another at 6:38 off of a cue taken from sophomore Kayla Benson — and handed her club a 2-1 lead they would never relinquish.
Abby Daly scored for the Storm 8:32 into the game off of assists from Nicole Berens and Morgan DeHaan. Rajewsky added to it by knocking in the first of her half-dozen scores and closed the first frame’s scoring with a goal assisted by Daly.
Morris-Benson Area posted three more goals in the second period and four in the third. Rajewsky’s six goals were joined with two from Lindblad and one each from sophomore Kamri Kalthoff, Benson and Daly.
“It was probably the best game the girls have played all year,” Morris-Benson coach Jim Berens commented. “They finally got focused and played the game they could. We had a lot of good unselfish play and that’s what we’ve been looking for. It was a really good game.”
Worthington had just six shots in the game, many of which came from Thompson and Kruse. In net for the Trojans, goaltender Amanda Bristow stopped 59 shots on the afternoon.
The Trojans will have plenty of time to prepare for their Section 3A tournament opener scheduled for Friday in Marshall. The Tigers left a Saturday game at Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato with a 10-12-1 record, following a 4-1 setback. Marshall finished the Southwest Conference slate with a 6-2 record behind conference winner Luverne.
“We’ve played pretty decent against Marshall all year,” Milbrath said. “They’ve put the puck in the net and are a solid team, but from the last time we’ve played them until now, we’re a different team. Once we’re rested, we’re going to give them a run for their money. That’s the game that counts, and that’s what we’re going to go for.”
M-BA 4 3 4 — 11
Worthington 1 0 0 — 1