WORTHINGTON -- Apart from a little glitch inside the final minute of the third period, the Worthington Trojans had everything under control Tuesday night in their 4-2 girls hockey victory over the Windom Area Eagles. The Eagles scored with 47.6 seconds remaining, but couldn’t get a shot off in the little time remaining after that. Cadence Van Ede rooted the puck out of Worthington’s end as the clock ticked down to zero. It skidded past a WAHS defender and into an empty net for the final margin.
Senior forward Ashton Fogelman scored Worthington’s first two goals for a 2-0 Trojan lead.
“Finally got her to come out of her shell. This will definitely give us a boost moving forward,” said head coach Chad Nickel.
If it seems unusual to hear a coach speak of Fogelman in those terms, that’s probably because it is. Fogelman was the team’s leading scorer last year, and she’ll no doubt have more than her share by season’s end. But Tuesday’s goals were her first of 2021 as the Trojans improved to 2-1.
“It was a slow start, just finding our edge back and just getting into shape,” Fogelman said after the game, and she was talking not only about herself but about the team in general. “But I feel we’re finally stepping up and getting a start.
“My mind was ready to go, but I feel my body was not. Very slow process, but it’s starting to pick up,” she concluded.
The late start to the hockey season meant that players were unable to hit their stride right out of the starting gate. But Nickel believes his team is beginning to stake a claim. On Friday, the Trojans beat Windom Area 3-1 on the road.
“I think they did very well. Even an improvement from Friday. The girls are mentally starting to have confidence in each other,” Nickel said about Tuesday’s contest. “The puck in the offensive zone is phenomenal. Their confidence in their own ability to skate with the puck and to pass to their teammates is huge.”
Fogelman got her first goal at the 10:42 mark with a short shot directly in front of the net, and Kory Nickel got the assist. Then with 9:30 remaining in the first, Fogelman scored again from the same general area, from an assist from Kessey Aljets.
Both teams scored once in the second period. Worthington made it 3-0 on a shot by Aubree Pederson with 8:08 to go. Windom Area got on the board at 1:54 with a shot by Ellyson Bang, as Miranda Cory was credited with the assist.
For almost the entire third period, it appeared that Worthington would prevail by the same score it won with on Friday. But the Eagles’ Ella Dockter scored moments after a Worthington rival whiffed on an attempt at stopping a loose puck, giving the final 47.6 seconds at least a little bit of drama.
But there was no drama, really, except to watch Van Ede’s clear-out, which lazily found its way into the middle of the empty WAHS net.
Afterwards, Fogelman said the team is feeling pretty good right now.
“I feel like now, that a lot of the girls are taking things seriously because it’s a short season. We’re knocking it down,” she declared.
Windom Area 0 1 1 -- 2
Worthington 2 1 1 -- 4