Girls hockey: Competitive Trojans give Waseca a good run
BY AARON HAGEN
WORTHINGTON -- Kya Nickel didn’t even see her goal go in.
But from the reaction of her teammates, she knew her shot was good.
In Friday’s girls hockey game, the sophomore on Worthington’s team scored the first goal of the contest, giving the Trojans their first lead of the young season.
“I was in front of the net and a girl was pretty much on me,” Nickel said. “I took my chances and directed it toward the ice. The girl took me down and before I knew it, everyone was coming up around me and I was like, ‘Sweet, we’re ahead.’
“I was down on the ground. I didn’t get to see it.”
Waseca answered with three unanswered goals before WHS tied the game again at 3. But two third-period scores gave the Bluejays a 5-3 victory.
“Last year, even games close to this were way at the end of the season,” Worthington’s Delayne Kuhl said. “Here it’s the second game and we’re already doing as good as we are.”
After 20 shots on goal in Tuesday’s season-opening game, the Trojans improved that number by two on Friday.
“It was a really good game and there was a lot of chemistry,” Nickel said. “Even though we didn’t make the win happen, you could see the improvement and see the work and chemistry between each other. It was just overall really good.”
Nickel’s goal came two minutes, 22 seconds into the game with an assist from Ashton Fogelman.
“That’s a huge boost when it comes down to it,” WHS head coach Chad Nickel said. “It’s all about improving every game, every practice and just keep going.”
WHS goalie Bailey Kruse stopped all 10 shots she saw in the first period as the Trojans went into the locker room with a 1-0 advantage.
“We could feel energy, we were ready to go,” Kya Nickel said. “We really wanted to keep going and keep fighting. We were excited and it was all smiles in the locker room. We were proud of ourselves because we were ahead and we were making it happen.”
However, the early part of the second period belonged to Waseca as the Bluejays scored three unanswered goals -- including one on a power play -- to take a 3-1 lead.
“We kind of stopped for a while, but then we had kind of a little pep talk and we realized that we need to get going if we want to come out on top,” Kuhl said.
Kuhl got things going in the right direction two minutes after Waseca scored its third goal. With just over a minute remaining in the period, Kuhl took a pass from Fogelman and fired it into the net, cutting the deficit to two goals.
“It was a perfect pass from Ashton and then it was a wide open net,” Kuhl said. “The goalie didn’t even see it.”
Before the arena announcer could even acknowledge her goal, Fogelman scored a goal -- just eight seconds later -- to tie the score at 3 all.
“That was amazing,” Kuhl said. “I’ve never experienced that ever.”
Waseca scored twice in the third period to take the victory.
“We really pushed ourselves to keep going,” Kya Nickel said. “We didn’t give up after two goals. We pushed through. Even though we didn’t win, we did amazing. We all worked together and you can really tell that we’re improving and we’re going to have a good season.”Waseca 0 3 2 -- 5Worthington 1 2 0 -- 3