Overtime goal by Dahl lifts Cardinals

LUVERNE -- Kat Dahl scored a power-play goal 21 seconds into overtime to lift the Luverne girls' hockey team to a 1-0 victory over LeSueur-Henderson/St. Peter/LeCenter Friday night in the opening round of the Section 3A tournament.

LUVERNE -- Kat Dahl scored a power-play goal 21 seconds into overtime to lift the Luverne girls' hockey team to a 1-0 victory over LeSueur-Henderson/St. Peter/LeCenter Friday night in the opening round of the Section 3A tournament.

With the victory, the Cardinals advance to the semifinals against the Marshall. The Tigers defeated Redwood Valley 17-1.

Just 17 seconds into the eight-minute, sudden-death overtime period, Dahl drew a tripping penalty and the Cardinals set up for a power play. Off the draw, Cardinal forward Mikki Fitzer sent a blast toward Bulldog netminder Valerie Sinell (23 saves). The sophomore made the initial save, but let the rebound scoot to her right, where a waiting Dahl poked it in for the game-winner.

"I'm ecstatic," Dahl said following the game. "I'm so happy our season isn't over, and we'll be playing next week."

The Cardinals, who beat the Bulldogs 4-1 in the opening game of the season, looked like they would repeat that effort as Luverne dominated the first period -- outshooting LeSueur-Henderson/St. Peter/LeCenter 14-2.


Dahl, Fitzer, Liz Solma, Paige Olson and Natalie Morgan each had quality shots on Sinell in the opening frame. Sinell stood her ground and parried each attempt away from the net.

"We dominated the first period, but we have this tendency to kinda relax in the second period," Luverne head coach David Siebenahler said. "It was a really physical game -- and we're not a very physical team -- and the officials let them play tonight."

The Bulldogs were growling to begin the second period and put the pressure on the Luverne defense. While the Cardinal garrison took its lumps, the team held its ground and didn't break under the weight of the Bulldogs onslaught.

Luverne goalkeeper Kelsey Theesfeld (23 saves), who was sharp all evening, turned away all 13 shots she faced in the second period. Midway through the period, Theesfeld was challenged by Shannon Meyer, who put a rocket on net off a rebound from Erin Seaver. Theesfeld was equal to the task, getting her stick down in time to flip the shot just over the crossbar to keep the game scoreless.

Meanwhile, the Cardinal offense sputtered a bit in the second, putting a scant six shots on net. And as the contest moved closer to the third period, the Cardinals appeared frustrated.

The break between periods two and three gave the Cardinals a chance to regain their composure and catch their wind, and from the opening faceoff of the third Luverne looked to be the hungrier side.

Both teams had chances in the third, but the Cardinals had more quality shots on net. Fitzer and Dahl each had good shots steered away by a focused Sinell.

"The third period we came back and it was a good seesaw battle back-and-forth," Siebenahler said. "Both goaltenders played well to keep the score tied."


With 21 seconds left in regulation, Meyer managed to get behind the Luverne defense for a breakaway attempt on Theesfeld. The freshman came out to cut off Meyer's angle and caught a rising shot with her glove shoulder to force the game into overtime.

"I was hoping someone would get back and force her off the puck," Theesfeld said. "I got the tip of my shoulder pad to it. I think it was headed for the upper right corner."

Dahl's overtime heroics brought her teammates over the boards, swarming the freshman to the left of the goal -- while tears streamed down the faces of the Bulldogs as they left the ice.

"It was a tough way to lose," LeSueur-Henderson/St. Peter/LeCenter head coach Sarah Moe said. "I told them not to hang their heads, because they played their best. You can't ask for more than that."

The Cardinals will visit Marshall at 7 p.m. Tuesday for the chance to earn a title shot.

L-H/St. Peter/L 0 0 0 0 -- 0

Luverne 0 0 0 1 -- 1

New Ulm 13, Worthington 0


NEW ULM -- The Worthington Trojans met a force in the New Ulm Eagles Friday and made a quick exit from the Section 3A playoffs.

Tiffany Hoffman paced the Eagles with six goals, followed by Allison Kehren with three goals. Korinne O'Connor added a goal and an assist for the Eagles, who meet the Fairmont Cardinals in the semifinals.

Worthington goaltender Taylor Baumhoefner made a state record 118 saves for the Trojans. The old record for a single-game was 53 by Katie Fedoryk of Austin in 2000.

"It was brutal," Worthington head coach Tom Ahlberg said. "They're (New Ulm) a very good team. Taylor was outstanding in goal for us."

Worthington 0 0 0 -- 0

New Ulm 3 9 1 -- 13

Other score

In the other Section 3A game, Fairmont defeated Windom Area, 5-4.

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