GIRLS' HOCKEY: Eagles advance in playoffsWINDOM — Sara Luhmann wants more.
By: Matt Huss, Worthington Daily Globe
WINDOM — Sara Luhmann wants more.
A senior center on Windom Area’s girls’ hockey team, Luhmann is the all-time leading scorer in the history of the program. She’s just one point shy of becoming the first Windom Area player to reach 200 career points, and she led the Eagles this season to their first Southwest Conference title.
On Friday night, Luhmann had a goal and an assist to lead the second-seeded Eagles to a 5-0 victory over seventh-seeded Worthington in the first round of the Section 3A playoffs.
It was the first playoff victory in the history of the Windom Area girls’ hockey program.
The Eagles will host third-seeded Luverne on Tuesday.
Despite all of the accolades and achievements, Luhmann isn’t content just yet.
“It feels awesome; it finally came together, and it’s finally happening for us in my senior year,” she said. “I definitely want more. I know we can beat Luverne; we just have to have faith and come in and play hard.
“I want to keep pushing it.”
The Eagles (13-10-1) swept the regular-season series with the Cardinals (11-12), winning 3-2 in Windom and 6-4 at Luverne.
The Cardinals defeated Redwood Valley 18-1 on Friday.
The Eagles swept the regular-season series with Worthington, winning by a combined score of 15-0, before their five-goal playoff victory on Friday in a game that Windom Area coach Shawn Veenker described as “atypical.”
Two Trojans left the game with injuries, resulting in long delays.
Haly Rogers collided with an opponent late in the second period. The freshman forward lost consciousness for a few moments and remained motionless on the ice for nearly 10 minutes. She then was put onto a stretcher and placed in an ambulance, which backed up the length of the ice to take her to the hospital.
Midway through the third period, Nicole Kremer hit the ice hard and injured her elbow. After a few minutes on the ice, the junior forward moved to the bench to receive treatment.
“Nicole is going to be OK; her dad said she was doing better,” Worthington coach Mark Raboin said. “We don’t know about Haly; we’re still waiting to see. She was moving and talking and everything.”
Earlier in the game, Rogers had Worthington’s best scoring chance.
Rogers stole the puck near Windom Area’s goal and skated in on a breakaway. But Eagles goaltender Brooklyn Drahota made a kick save before stuffing the rebound.
Luhmann corralled the puck moments later and raced down the ice, knifing through the defense before firing a hard wrist shot that beat Trojans goalie Taylor Baumhoefner to the top shelf, giving the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
With 4:06 remaining in the first period, Josie Higley scored on an assist from Ashley Swanson to give Windom Area a two-goal lead. Then, with 28 seconds remaining in the first period, Lisa Johnson scored on an assist from Alizabeth Goldie to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead going into the first intermission.
Early in the second period, Shelby Veenker went coast to coast and scored an unassisted short-handed goal. The sophomore defender notched her second score of the game 2:04 into the third period on a power play. The assist came from Luhmann, who forgot to bring her No. 3 jersey to the arena and was forced to wear No. 14.
“Different number, same player,” Shawn Veenker said. “Unfortunately, she started the game at 196 (points), and she had three points (Friday). We wanted her to get that over with, but I guess she wasn’t meant to get No. 200 (wearing) No. 14.”
Luhmann likely will be back in her No. 3 jersey Tuesday when she and the Eagles play arguably the biggest game in the program’s history.
“Our goal at the beginning of the season was to get a home playoff game, win it, move on and deal with the second game after that,” Shawn Veenker said. “We’re taking it one step at a time.”
The Trojans (0-20) finished the season without a win, but they made dramatic improvements throughout the year. Their game on Friday exemplified the kind of season they had. They allowed three goals in the first period but only two for the rest of the game.
“We improved with the passing and stuff like that,” Raboin said. “In the first period, the girls played well for the first five, six, seven minutes, but as soon as (Windom Area) scored a goal, they went down. Then, in the third period, we picked it up again. It seems like we did that all year, in every game we played.”
Worthington 0 0 0 — 0
Windom Area 3 1 1 — 5
Luverne 18, RV 1
LUVERNE — Morgan Sommers notched her first career hat trick to lead the third-seeded Cardinals to a lopsided victory over sixth-seeded Redwood Valley in the first round of the Section 3A playoffs.
Eleven players scored at least one goal for Luverne, which set a program record for single-game scoring.
Freshman forward Lauren Christensen also notched a hat trick, and Paige Olson, Liz Solma and Kat Dahl each scored twice for the Cardinals.
Alyssa Frakes, Amanda Niessink, Ellen Dahl, Mikki Fitzer, Steph Schultz and Katie Eeten each added a goal for Luverne, which will travel to face second-seeded Windom Area on Tuesday.
Kelsey Theesfeld made five saves in goal for the Cardinals (11-12), who recorded their seventh victory in their past nine games.
RV 0 1 0 — 1
Luverne 8 6 4 — 18