Packers fall from postseason

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 13, 2003

Austin managed to trip the gap between it and Farmington, but the Tigers were still too much.

The Packer girls' hockey team improved upon its first meeting with Farmington/Randolph, but Austin was still eliminated from the Section 1A postseason with a 5-0 semifinal loss Wednesday night at Farmington.

The game was moved from its originally scheduled site -- from Gustavus Adolphus College to Farmington -- because the rink at GAC was not available after winter weather postponed the contest to Wednesday. So fourth-seeded Austin went into the Tigers' Den and was shut out for just the third time all season.

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Farmington took a 7-1 non-conference match on Austin's home ice back in December.

Tiger goalie Casey Preston needed to stop just nine AHS shots on goal for the shutout -- her third consecutive shutout of the postseason. Farmington/Randolph, ranked seventh in Class A, will meet No. 13. Albert Lea in tonight's championship game at 7:30 p.m. at Lund Arena in St. Peter.

"Overall we got outhustled to the puck," said Austin coach Denny Bray. "They beat us to the puck in the defensive zone, neutral zone, and in the offensive zone. When you get beat to the puck you're not going to win many hockey games."

Farmington allowed the Packers just one shot on goal in the second and third periods, outshooting Austin 32-9 for the game. The Tigers scored twice in each of the first two periods to take an insurmountable four-goal lead.

The tension of a season ending erupted into six penalties in the final period for the Packers, who finished with a 15-10 overall record and 6-8 Big Nine Conference mark.

"It got a little out of hand there toward the end," Bray said. "The girls were feeling a little bit of frustration, so we had a couple of roughing penalties and checking.

"It was a good season. I'm proud of the girls, we never gave up."

The Packers' only losses by shutout came against Albert Lea and Owatonna -- both section finalists. Owatonna hosts Lakeville in the Section 1AA finals Saturday night for the right to play at state.

Austin allowed two power play goals to Farmington, stemming from a second-period injury to junior Jessica Petersen -- a regular on the penalty kill unit. Other Packers standard to killing penalties were instead whistled for them and sitting in the penalty box.

Eighth-grade goalie Amy Snyder stopped 27 shots in Austin's season-ending loss.

"She made some pretty nice saves and ended the season on a high note," Bray said. "Most of their goals were scored right out front on rebounds, they beat our defense to the puck out front."

Snyder and sophomore Justine Wiste split time between the pipes this season and both will be back for next year. Austin graduates four members from this season's squad, including captains Jenny Nemitz, Emily Quealy and Brenda Nguyen. Margaret Wagner centered Austin's third line. Nemitz is hopeful for a third year on the All-Conference squad as a defenseman.

Section 1A:

First round

Farmington 12, Northfield 0

New Prague 2, Waseca 1

Luverne 4, Mankato East 3, OT

Austin 4, Worthington 1

Albert Lea 7, Marshall 0

St. Peter 5, Fairmont 2

Mankato West 4, Red Wing 2

Faribault 4, New Ulm 3, OT


Farmington 9, New Prague 0

Austin 7, Luverne 5

Albert Lea 3, St. Peter 1

Mankato West 4, Faribault 0


Farmington 5, Austin 0

Albert Lea 5, Mankato West 0


(1) Farmington vs. (2) Albert Lea