Packers power past Northern Edge; New Prague wins Merchants tournament

Published 11:32 am Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Packer girls hockey team excelled in all of the factors that slowed them down in the first two days of the Austin Merchants Tournament when they beat Northern Edge 4-0 to take seventh place at Riverside Arena Wednesday morning.

Austin improved it’s rebounding as it scored two goals on put-backs, it held possession as it attempted 57 shots and it played solid defense, as it held Northern Edge to 16 shots.

“It was more open for us today,” said freshman Kennedy Thompson, who netted her first career hat trick in the win. “They had a big goalie, but you could hit it top shelf and back door.”

At net for Austin, Audrey DeVries recorded her fifth shutout of the season as she stopped 16 shots. The senior was chosen as the All-Tournament goalie as well.

“Easy games or hard games, you’re still playing,” DeVries said. “I try to take every team equally, because sometimes teams are on and other times they’re not. You have to prepare for the worst.”

Carley Grunewald put the Packers (7-8-1 overall) on the board in the first period when she beat Northern Edge goalie Johanna Sommers with a one-on-one move in the open ice.

Thompson put back her own miss in the second period to make it 2-0 and she scored on another put-back goal eight minutes later off a shot by Kirsten Stanek. Thompson scored he third goal in the third period.

While the starters did their job, Austin head coach Denny Bray was pleased with how his third line played. The trio of Valorie Bates, Rebecca Bartlett and Brianna Meyers logged in more ice time on Wednesday than they have in most games.

Bray said he’s hoping the third line can contribute more down the stretch as the Packers struggled in the third period against Faribault and Owatonna earlier this season due to fatigue.

“I just want them to get out there and keep the puck out of the net so the other two lines can rest,” he said. “They almost scored a couple of times today and that would just be icing on the cake if they could get a couple of goals.”

Austin continued to play strong on the penalty kill as it held Northern Edge scoreless on six power play attempts. The Packers didn’t allow a power play goal the entire tournament.

“Me and Ashley (Arhart) work pretty good together and we’re pretty good at icing it,” Thompson said.

Northern Edge 0 0 0 — 0

Austin 1 2 1 — 4

First period

(A) 3:17 Carley Grunewald

Second period

(A) 4:28 Kennedy Thompson (Kirsten Stanek, Alex Larson)

(A) 12:15 Thompson (Stanek)

Third period

(A) Thompson (Ashley Crump)

Power plays: Austin — 0-for-3; Northern Edge — 0-for-6

Shots on goal: Austin — 57; Northern Edge — 16

TOURNAMENT ROUNDUP

New Prague 4, Novas 3, OT

The New Prague girls hockey team won the Austin Merchants Holiday Tournament in dramatic fashion as they scored an overtime goal with 50 seconds to play in a 4-3 win over the Minneapolis Novas.

After Hallie Paschke and Jamie Bisek both missed shots for the Trojans, Nicole Prokes tipped the puck into the air and into the back of the net as she was falling to her knees to win the game.

Bisek tied the game up at three with a goal early in the third period.

Northfield 2, Willmar 1

The Raiders got third period goals from Hannah Pilger and Riley Seitz to win the third place game.

Willmar’s only score came from Jennie Mattiston.

Tartan 2, Albert Lea 0

Tartan got two power play goals from Audra Richards and Marina Frascone to take fifth place.

ALL TOURNEY TEAM

First team

Goalie — Audrey DeVries, Austin

Forward — Cecilia Hardacker, Minneapolis Novas

Forward — Lauren Klick, Albert Lea

Forward — Shannon Meyer, New Prague

Defense — Cayla Penn, Tartan

Defense — Katie Jirik, Northfield

Honorable Mention

Goalie — Johanna Sommers, Northern Edge

Goalie — Shyler Sletta, New Prague

Defense — Shelby Stark, Northfield

Defense — Jill Oxborough, Minneapolis Novas

Forward — Rebecca Freese, Willmar

Forward — Erin Sheehan, Willmar