BY AARON HAGEN
WORTHINGTON -- It was something Bailey Kruse has wanted for years.
And when it finally happened on Tuesday, the senior goalie on Worthington’s girls hockey team had no words.
With the Trojans’ 3-0 victory over Fairmont, Kruse earned her first career win in net.
“I can’t really put it to words,” Kruse said. “It’s so awesome seeing all of us come together as a team and be able to pull that off. None of us really knew what to do at the end. We all kind of watched the clock go to nothing and we couldn’t really believe that it happened. We definitely earned it. We all work hard. It’s not just one person, it’s not just two, it’s the whole team.”
After a scoreless first two periods, Worthington exploded for three goals in the third period to give WHS its first victory since January 2014.
“We always say, if we’re down, it’s a 0-0 game, but now it really was,” Kruse said. “I think we just ignored the scoreboard and really focused on our game. Zero to zero after the second period is a lot of fun, it’s really nerve-wracking.”
Both teams had chances in the first two periods, but Kruse and her counterpart Emily O’Connor kept the game scoreless.
“I’m happy with a 0-0 score period by period because that means our girls are working hard and they are stopping them,” WHS head coach Chad Nickel said. “We were moving the puck and we kept pressure.”
With 10 minutes, 27 seconds remaining in the game, the scoreless tie broke as Ashton Fogelman scored on a wraparound goal.
“The other team I felt, got really really tired,” Fogelman said. “We were busting everything we had out there. We just kept getting opportunities. I kind of just saw the opening for that wrap around and put it in. It felt like a big relief because we were like we got on the board and now we need to keep going and shut them down.”
But there was still a lot of time left.
“That was the longest 10-and-a-half minutes of my life,” Kruse said.
Fogelman added a second four minutes later as she took the puck from a Fairmont player, made a move and scored.
“I was really tired,” Fogelman said. “I was like, ‘We have to get another one.’ We need to get up there. I skated as hard as I could, deked around her and shot it.”
WHS added one more as Kessy Aljets scored with an assist from Brynne White to give Worthington a 3-0 victory.
“Everyone was crying,” Fogelman said. “Everyone was like, ‘Finally, after all this time, we finally got a win.’ It feels really good.”
The Trojans had 33 shots on goal, while Fairmont had 25 shots -- each one stopped by Kruse.
“I was just kind of hoping for the win at first, but I’ll take the shutout with it,” Kruse sid. “My team definitely kept the shots down and that helped a lot. It gives me energy so I can stay in the game and make sure I have my head in the game the whole time. It wasn’t just me that got me the shutout, it was my whole team.”
Worthington (1-4) is at Windom Area on Thursday.
“All I can say is we’re going to keep moving,” Nickel said. “This is the momentum. We’re going to keep pushing.”Fairmont 0 0 0 -- 0 Worthington 0 0 3 -- 3