Girls hockey: In a flurry of activity, Luverne drops Worthington 12-1
WORTHINGTON — A slow start for both teams Tuesday night at the Worthington Ice Arena led to a rout for the Luverne Cardinals over Worthington in a matchup of two area Southwest Conference girls hockey clubs.
The Cardinals, racking up 50 shots through the first two periods, posted a 12-1 victory over Worthington and moved to 20-3 on their season as they head into their final game before the postseason begins.
“It has kind of been our Achilles’ Heel all year long. The first five or 10 minutes still seem to get us and we need to continue to work toward getting that fixed,” Luverne head coach Tony Sandbulte said. “It goes back to get our legs moving a bit and finding open space and each other.”
Luverne took 7:14 to get onto the board when sophomore forward Mikayla Sterrett knocked in a goal unassisted. She added another, at 11:41 of the opening frame, off assists from Madisyn Dingmann and Ellen Dahl. Then, the Cardinals went to an up-tempo game and dominated in the second period, putting in eight more goals spread over 32 shots taken.
“In the first period, we had a lot of unforced errors that got us but then we started playing our brand of hockey a little better,” Sandbulte said. “We just had a better team effort from then on and we’ll take it.”
The Trojans answered the bell, playing more solidly in the third frame. Junior center Betsy Thompson took a cue from eighth-grader Bailey Kruse to score Worthington’s only goal, 6:08 into the third period.
In net, senior goalie Amanda Bristow had 49 saves for the night, playing with her teammates in their second to last hockey game at home. Windom Area comes to Worthington Thursday night. The team wraps its season up Friday at St. Peter/LeSueur-Henderson.
“We had a better third period and put great pressure on them, getting some opportunities,” Trojans coach Eric Milbrath said. “Betsy had a great goal assisted by Bailey.”
Luverne, now 20-3 on the year, travels to St. Peter/LeSueur-Henderson on Saturday. It is an important time of the year, Sandbulte said. Section 3A’s tournament play begins Feb. 7 and the Cardinals hope to make some noise while there.
“That will finish off the season for us, and then it’s playoffs. We’re near the end here,” Sandbulte said. “The goal is to be playing our best hockey, cleaning up the things we need to and working together to bring good energy each day to practice. Hopefully that translates to the ice.”
Luverne 2 8 2 —12
Worthington 0 0 1 —1