Owatonna nets win over Packers

Published 4:32 pm Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Austin Packers girls hockey team withstood an Owatonna onslaught for 34 minutes, but the Huskies put the game away in the third period Friday night and won 4-0.

Owatonna (5-3) outshot Austin (5-5-1) 52-25 in the game, but only led 1-0 through two periods. Then came the third, when the Huskies scored three times, including twice in about a minute.

Austin coach Denny Bray said his team played well for the most part, but defensive breakdowns late led to the Owatonna goals.

“All three (goals in the third period) were right out in front,” Bray said. “You can’t just watch.”

But the final score could have been worse if not for senior goalie Audrey DeVries, the coach said. DeVries finished with 48 saves, many of them coming in traffic.

“Audrey’s been playing fantastic all season,” Bray said.

DeVries said afterward that she just tried to stay focused as the shots rained in. She also said she knows her team won’t get blanked at the other end that often.

“We had so many chances,” DeVries said. “Just didn’t get fortunate tonight.”

There certainly were chances for Austin’s fortunes to change. The Packers went on the night’s first power play in the first period and got a couple of good looks. Several breakaways were stuffed by Owatonna junior goalie Keshia Reuvers. And Austin’s Kennedy Thompson even hit the post on a shot from the top of the circle in the second period.

“We shot right into (Reuvers) all night,” coach Bray said.

There were also a few opportunities that were nullified by whistles for offsides.

“Offsides we talk about in practice, and we don’t do it in practice,” Bray said. “Mental mistakes just hurt us tonight.”

That’s not to say Owatonna didn’t force a lot of Austin’s problems. The Huskies, coming off of a 7-1 drubbing of Fairbault Thursday, played very well, Bray said.

“Owatonna is a great team,” he said.

Junior defender Alexandra Larson said her team stayed close with the Huskies, but needed more sustained offense.

“I think we did OK in the offensive zone,” she said. “(But) I wish we just kept it down there more.”

Bray said if his Packers can capitalize more on scoring chances, they should be just fine as the season progresses, especially with DeVries playing so well in the net.

“I’m proud of the team,” he added.

SCORING SUMMARY

First period:

Owatonna- Leah Bird, unassisted. 14:27

Second period:

No goals scored

Third period:

Owatonna- Amiee Goodew, unassisted.7:30

Owatonna – Taylor Disher, assist from Goodew. 9:50

Owatonna – Cailyn McCauley, assist from Paige Lysne. 11:00