Packers outscore Luverne

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Courtney Hughes scored four goals and added an assist as the Austin girls' hockey team survived the one-woman show of Luverne to win a 7-5 Section 1A quarterfinal game Saturday night at Riverside Arena.

Hughes scored at least once in each period, including the game's opening goal just 44 seconds after the first faceoff. Kristin Faber and Jenny Nemitz also scored in the first period to give fourth-seeded AHS a 4-1 lead.

Luverne's Natalie Domagala, just a sophomore, scored all five Luverne goals in her team's last hurrah. Domagala has over 100 career goals and showed how by keeping the 12th-seeded Cardinals in contention. She scored three goals in the third period, but a 5-2 margin was too much to make up for.

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Austin advances to the section semifinals at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, where the Packers will face top-seeded Farmington/Randolph Tuesday night at 8:15 p.m. The seventh-ranked Tigers defeated Austin 7-1 in a non-conference meeting earlier this season at Riverside Arena.

Third-seeded Albert Lea plays seventh-seed Mankato West in the 6 p.m. semifinal Tuesday.

Luverne goalie Allyssa Wjeneke allowed seven Austin goals on 30 shots, but her Cardinal teammates attempted 33 shots on AHS netminder Amy Snyder. Hughes' season-high four goals helped the Packers (15-9) slow upset-minded Luverne (9-14), who knocked off fifth-seed Mankato East (11-10) in the opening round, 4-3 in overtime.

"This team is better than what we played," said Luverne coach Dave Siebenahler. "It's really been an up and down season. We knew we should have been seeded higher in the tournament."

The Cardinals proved it by sending a scare into the Austin bench. The Packers pushed through with consistent scoring spurred by a quick start.

"I think we were relaxed a little bit," said AHS coach Denny Bray. "The win is nice, but we need to play better than that."

Austin had occasional trouble clearing the puck out of its zone, which opened the door for Domagala to get her fifth goal of the game. Domagala came out of the penalty box at 12:27, scooped up the puck near the blue line and scored only 11 seconds after leaving the sin bin.

"A win's a win even though it wasn't the prettiest win," Bray added.

Faber finished with one goal and two assists, while Nemitz and Jessica Petersen had a goal and an assist each.





3 -- 5




2 -- 7

First period--1, AHS, Courtney Hughes (Jenny Nemitz), :44. 2, AHS, Kristin Faber (Hughes), 8:07. 3, LUV, Natalie Domagala (Stephanie Morgan), 11:19. 4, AHS, Nemitz, 12:28. Penalties--Jessica Petersen, AHS (slashing) 8:29.

Second period--5, LUV, Domagala (Jenny Braa, Natalie Morgan), :43. 6, AHS, Petersen (Faber), 2:51. 7, AHS, Hughes, 13:09. Penalties--Hughes, AHS (holding) 3:58; Sadie Dietrich, LUV (hooking) 5:42; Maggie VandeHoek, LUV (tripping) 7:24; Faber, AHS (roughing) 8:20; Taylor Nelson, LUV (slashing) 13:49.

Third period--8, AHS, Hughes (Petersen), :24 (pp). 9, LUV, Domagala (N.Morgan), 5:05. 10, AHS, Hughes (Faber), 6:16. 11, LUV, Domagala (VandeHoek), 8:21 (4-on-3). 12, LUV, Domagala (S.Morgan), 12:38. Penalties--Nelson, LUV (interference) 6:36; Faber, AHS (cross-checking) 7:09; Nemitz, AHS (interference) 7:41; Domagala, LUV (tripping) 10:27.

Shots on goal--Luverne 9-9-15--33; Austin 9-8-13--30.

Power-play Opportunities--Luverne 1 of 5; Austin 1 of 5.

Goalies--Luverne, Allyssa Wjeneke (30 shots-23 saves); Austin, Amy Snyder (33-28).