GIRLS’ HOCKEY STATE TOURNAMENT: Top-ranked Warriors too much for Eagles

ST. PAUL – The odds were definitely not in New Ulm’s favor prior to Wednesday’s Class A Girls State Hockey Tournament game against Warroad at Xcel Energy Center.

The Eagles were up against the No. 1 seed in the tournament and the No. 1 team in the latest Class A poll. The top-ranked Warriors also boasted two players who are going to play Division I hockey next year and they entered tournament play allowing only 26 goals in 27 games.

On Wednesday, the Warriors showed exactly why they are the team to beat as they won convincingly 9-0 in the quarterfinals of the Class A State Tournament. The loss means New Ulm (14-12-1) will play against Hibbing/Chisholm at 12 p.m. today at Ridder Arena in the consolation bracket.

The Warriors featured Division 1 recruits Kayla Gardner and Lisa Marvin, who will both play hockey at the University of North Dakota next year. Marvin finished the game with four goals and Sierra Hanowski had three assists and a goal for the Warriors.

The Eagles played a competitive first half of the game, allowing only two goals for the first 30 minutes of the game. But after that, it was all Warroad.

“To me, especially starting out that first period, I was expecting more of that dominant Warroad team that we’re used to seeing, that really smooth, quick-passing team,” New Ulm coach Angie Zeig said. “Our kids made it very difficult for them to get into that rhythm really until late in the second period.”

The Warriors scored four goals in about a three-minute span to break the game wide open, grabbing a 6-0 lead after the second period. The third period was played with running time because of the six-goal advantage.

“I think that short span of about three minutes really put a downer on the run that we had going,” Zeig said. “I was really proud of the girls and they held their own and we were getting some offensive chances on our end as well.”

The four-goal outburst wasn’t totally a surprise for Zeig. She’s seen the Warriors do it before in previous state tournament games.

“Watching them over the last five years, you know that once they get in that rhythm, they can just keep going,” Zeig said.

Warroad’s Demi Gardner scored the first goal of the game at the 4:38 mark off of a rebound when she flicked it past New Ulm goalie Julia Schaefer.

Marvin later scored at 10:22 when her shot flipped off the stick of Schaefer and into the net.

It took a long time for the Warriors to add to the lead in the second period, but they finally did when Kayla Gardner scored on a back-hand shot to make it 3-0 at 13:12.

That seemed to break the game open for the Warriors. Thirty two seconds later, Marvin added her second goal of the game when she scored an unassisted goal.

Demi Gardner scored her second goal of the game at 14:36 to put the Warriors up 5-0 and Astrup added a goal less than a minute later, suddenly making it 6-0.

Hanowski and Marvin added goals early in the third period to put the Warriors up 8-0. Marvin later added her fourth goal of the game with 8:22 left.

Schaefer stopped 24 Warroad shots and Bailey Landreville made two saves for the Eagles.

Warroad 2 4 3 – 9

New Ulm 0 0 0 – 0

First period: War: Demi Gardner (A. Willmer, M. Gardner) 4:38; War: Lisa Marvin (Hanowski, Bethune) 10:22.

Second period: War: Kayla Gardner (Hanowski) 13:12; War: Marvin (unast.) 13:44; War: Demi Gardner (Astrup) 14:36; War: Astrup (Bethune, Demi Gardner) 15:11.

Third period: War: Hanowski (L. Marvin) :57; War: Marvin (Hanowski) 4:00; War: Marvin (Huerd) 7:49.

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