Girls hockey: Third-ranked Hornets turn back Stillwater
Unable to continue a first-period flurry which saw the Ponies score three times in less than four minutes, it was Edina that answered the call in Thursday’s 5-4 nonconference girls’ hockey victory at the St. Croix Valley Rec Center.
The third-ranked Hornets (4-1-2) scored twice during 36-second stretch late in the first period to tie the game and pulled away with a goal each in the second and third periods.
Stillwater (0-1-0 SEC, 1-3-1) is winless in its last four games since a season-opening triumph over Blaine and was outshot 31-22 by the Hornets, who have finished second at the state tourney the past two years.
“We’ve got some goals and if we’re going to accomplish those there’s some simple fixes that have to take place right away,” Ponies coach Tony Scheid said. “We’ve had a tough schedule and we’re very optimistic about our team so there’s no panic here. We know we can turn it around and get it going.”
Taylor Williamson, who also notched three assists, scored less than three minutes into the game to give Edina a 1-0 lead. Carlie Hart answered with the first of her two goals at 9:01 and Hannah Heacox struck less than two minutes later on an assist by Sierra Smith to give the Ponies a 2-1 lead. Hart tallied her second goal at 12:36 for a two-goal cushion, but the Hornets evened the score on goals by Sarah Nielsen and Laura Barker before the end of the period.
“We opened the door and the disappointing thing is that the mistakes are kind of rookie mistakes and we have a veteran team,” Scheid said. “We didn’t expect we’d have these kinds of issues, but they’re very simple things in the game, like d-zone coverage and hard backchecking and forechecking.”
Nielsen scored again for the Hornets midway through the second period and Emily Eide extended the lead to 5-3 at 8:40 of the third.
Taylor Naugle scored her first varsity goal for the Ponies at 9:10 of the third period and they created several strong scoring opportunities late in the game, but Edina goaltender Rebecca Sonnek turned the back to preserve narrow victory.
After combining with Hastings for 17 penalties in its previous game, neither Stillwater or Edina was assessed a penalty on Thursday.
“I thought Hart had a great game, her best game of the season, and played extremely well,” Scheid said. “Sara Bustad is a strong power forward and also made some adjustments to her game. I thought we did play with a lot of discipline and control and that’s the kind of game we need to play to be successful.”
Edina 3 1 1 — 5
Stillwater 3 0 1 — 4
First period — 1. Ed, Taylor Williamson (Jackie Pieper, Sarah Nielsen) 2:31; 1. St, Carlie Hart (unassisted) 9:01; 2. St, Hannah Heacox (Sierra Smith) 10:25; 3. St, Hart (Sara Bustad, Hannah Okerstrom) 12:36; 2. Ed, Nielsen (Pieper, Williamson) 15:12; 3. Ed, Laura Barker (Nicole Rash) 15:48.
Second period — 4. Ed, Nielsen (Williamson, Pieper) 8:38.
Third period — 5. Ed, Emily Eide (Williamson) 8:40; 4. St, Taylor Naugle (unassisted) 9:10.
Penalties — Ed, 0; St, 0.
Saves — Ed (Rebecca Sonnek) 6-7-5—18; St (Allison Pasiuk) 11-7-8—26.
Ponies collecting items for Valley Outreach
The Stillwater girls’ hockey team is collecting non-perishable food items during its game against Forest Lake on Saturday, Dec. 8 at the SCVRC.
For each donated item, that person will receive a chance for a raffle drawing. Items will be donated to Valley Outreach, which serves more than 400 families each month.