Girls hockey: Trojans fall 8-2 in opener
The Bulldogs came early and often and attacked the goal offensively, but Worthington held up well defensively, all things considered.
St. Peter/Le Sueur-Henderson out-shot the Trojans by a wide margin en route to an 8-2 final, tacking on its first win of the early season.
“We have a lot of work to do and have a lot of young kids,” Worthington head coach Eric Milbrath said of his team that boasts over a dozen skaters who haven’t played hockey prior to this season. “That is expected.”
Both teams moved the puck well early on, but it was St. Peter who used the communication necessary to make solid passes and connect for goals. As the game wore on, the Trojans grew into their own, creating more and more opportunities for themselves.
The Bulldogs, unable to create anything off of a power play early in the contest, popped in a top shelf goal at 12:56 of the first period. Freshman wing Anna Amos took an assist from senior center Chloe Bachman to draw first blood in the tilt.
Minutes later, 9:01 into the game, St. Peter’s Holly Gibbs nabbed in a goal from short range off the left side to hand the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead. Maddie Keschult pushed the advantage further, 8:54 into the game.
The Trojans cut the advantage to two goals, as a shot from junior defensemen Allison Kremer bounced out of the net 16:36 into the game. Trojans junior Betsy Thompson put it back for the goal.
St. Peter’s Hannah Wilmes popped a goal through the goalie’s legs at 1:29 of the second period and eighth-grader Emma Doherty-Bohn took a feed from freshman Kallie Steuck for another, 9:16 into the second frame, to push the lead to 5-1. Bachman and Doherty-Bohn each added goals in the second period to push the third period to a continuous clock at an 8-1 spread.
As the third period came around, the Trojans communicated better, passed better, and defended better. It meant stronger hockey and some momentum for Worthington to work from.
Several of the Trojans’ opportunities offensively came from Thompson. A junior center, Thompson had opportunities quenched in the first two periods by a strong St. Peter defensive presence that proved vigilant enough to stifle anything the Trojans could muster.
Thompson scored both goals for Worthington Friday, as she broke away for a goal at 17:00 of the third period, capping the tilt on a high note for the home crowd.
“It was a good first game for everyone. We were just kind of putting things together,” Thompson said. “We worked on our defense, but I was happy with how much offensive production we had. Allison (Kremer) did a great job of getting the puck up the ice to our wings and our center.”
Another star for the show, even through the loss, was Bristow. A fifth-year starter in the net for the Trojans, the senior goalie faced 69 shots for the night for 61 saves. She has played goalie for the last decade at one level or another.
“I went into it pretty confident. I knew I needed to focus on myself,” Bristow said. “Being in the net is the best for me. I love it and enjoy being in control, being able to see everybody. Being a goalie is something you can’t explain.”
Going forward, the Trojans have a long break. Worthington faces a road trip to Marshall on Tuesday, Nov. 26.
Following Friday’s game, Coach Milbrath upheld the confidence he has in his young team.
“We came out in the third and played a really great third period. We held them to no goals and got one ourselves. We won that period. That is a plus going into the week coming up,” Milbrath said. “We started playing our defense better. We started making passes and making plays.
“We played a scrimmage against Marshall, but that was our very first scrimmage,” Milbrath added. “The nerves were there when we played them. It was a little shaky. We have a lot of new girls with a lot of information getting thrown at them. They’re picking up on it and we’ll be ready (for Marshall).”
SPLH 3 5 0 — 8
WHS 1 0 1 — 2