WHS Girls' Hockey: Cardinals beat Worthington 6-3 to clinch regular season championshipWORTHINGTON — Luverne’s girls’ hockey team clinched the Southwest Conference regular season championship Thursday with a 6-3 win over Worthington, spoiling Senior Night and Parents’ Night for the Trojans. The win improved the Cardinals to 8-8-1 overall and kept them undefeated in conference with a 6-0-1 record.
WORTHINGTON — Luverne’s girls’ hockey team clinched the Southwest Conference regular season championship Thursday with a 6-3 win over Worthington, spoiling Senior Night and Parents’ Night for the Trojans.
The win improved the Cardinals to 8-8-1 overall and kept them undefeated in conference with a 6-0-1 record.
“It feels great,” Luverne coach Dave Siebenahler said. “It’s been a few years since we’ve had it.
“I know one of the girls’ goals was to be conference champions and they met one of their goals.”
Luverne came out firing, putting 25 shots on goal in the first period to Worthington’s seven. Less than five minutes into the game, Madi Oye found Makayla Sterrett and with a 2-on-1 break, Sterrett took the puck in herself and made it 1-0 Cardinals.
Less than three minutes later, Lauren Christensen made it 2-0 Luverne when her shot dribbled in off assists from Sterrett and Madisyn Dingmann.
Just under four minutes later, Ellen Dahl stole the puck and found Alice Anderssen for a short-handed goal to make it 3-0 Luverne. Thirty seconds later, Dingmann centered the puck from behind the net to Christensen, who fired it home to make it 4-0 Luverne.
“It was an overall good game,” Christensen said. “It’s been one of our goals every season to be conference champions and finally it came true.
“It’s an honor to be a senior and have this happen.”
Worthington (4-11-1, 4-3-1) got on the board with 3:26 remaining in the first period when Betsy Thompson blasted a rebound into the back of the net behind assists from Taylor Heidebrink and Kirsten Aljets.
The Trojans didn’t have much celebrating time as Luverne’s Kristen Reisdorfer found a loose puck on a Hailey Sommers shot and sent it top shelf to make it 5-1 after one period of play.
Just over seven minutes into the second period, a dribbler sent toward the net from Sterrett found Christensen’s stick and Christensen found the back of the net to make it 6-1 Luverne. Oye was also credited with an assist on the play.
With just under two minutes remaining in the second period, it seemed as though Luverne would take a huge lead into the final period and cruise to victory, but Worthington’s Allison Kremer had other plans.
Kremer skated the length of the ice to score an unassisted goal with 1:43 remaining in the second period and weaved through traffic to beat the clock and score with just four seconds left in the period to make it a 6-3 game and give the Trojans some momentum.
Luverne, however, held the Trojans to just two shots in the third period and took home the victory and the conference championship.
“The second period got to us a little bit,” Sterrett said. “We got pumped up in the lockerroom and came out in the third period and got the job done.”
Siebenahler knew the game was one Trojans’ goal away from being completely different.
“We knew, in the third period, if they would have got a goal, they would have had the momentum and we didn’t want that,” Siebenahler said. “We came out and played a good game in the period for the win.”
Although the Trojans were outshot 69-13, Worthington can certainly hang its hat on sticking with Luverne in two out of the three periods.
“That first period we weren’t ready for them,” WHS coach Ken Karwoski said. “They came out and played a lot more physically than we’ve ever seen them play.
“In past years, we would have got down like that and we would’ve gotten blown out. For us to come out and keep skating hard, I’m thrilled the way the girls played.”
The Trojans hope to be turning a new corner with the effort.”
“There is a reason Luverne is at the top of our conference and the heart our team showed after the first period builds a lot of confidence,” Karwoski said. “It’s weird to say you build confidence in a loss, but only going down to Luverne 6-3 shows a lot of improvement out of our girls.
As for Luverne, there’s another championship they have their eyes on.
“Our next goal is section champs,” Siebenahler said.
Luverne will be on the road versus LPGE/WDC today and Worthington will be on the road versus Waseca Saturday.
LHS 5 1 0 — 6
WHS 1 2 0 — 3
Daily Globe Sports Editor Chris Murphy can be reached at 376-7328.