Packers overpower Panthers

Published 4:07 pm Saturday, December 18, 2010

Austin's Abby Gallaher celebrates her second-period goal Saturday afternoon against Rochester Century at Riverside Arena. - Eric Johnson/

The Austin girls hockey team overcame 11 penalties to prevail with a 9-5 win over Rochester Century in Riverside Arena Saturday.

Although Century did score three times on powerplays, the Packers put up three shorthanded goals of their own and they were two-for-eight on their powerplays.

“It’s hard for the girls when we play a game where they let us play and then we play a game where they call things real close,” Austin head coach Denny Bray said. “It’s hard to adjust, but I think we did that in the third period.”

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The Packers (4-6 overall, 1-5 Big Nine) scored seven goals in the first two periods, but they played their best hockey in the third period, when they outscored the Panthers (2-6 overall, 1-5 Big Nine) 2-0.

“The third period was better than the last two,” said Austin forward Abby Gallaher, who had her first hat trick of the season in the win. “If we put all three periods together it would’ve been one heck of a good game, but overall we did pretty good and hopefully we can keep winning.”

Austin's Alex Larson puts a backhand shot on net against Rochester Century Saturday afternoon during the first period at Riverside Arena. - Eric Johnson/

Carley Grunewald scored a breakaway goal to make it 8-5 in the third period when the Panthers had a five-on-three advantage for her third goal of the game and Ashley Arhart, who had three assists, started the scoring for Austin with a shorthanded slapshot off a one-timer from Kirsten Stanek to make it 1-1 in the first.

But the most impressive shorhander came from Stanek in the second period when she took a loose puck on the defensive end, skated around two Century defenders and then rebounded her own miss to make it a 6-4.

“I knew the girl playing defense was going back straight with me so I figured I’d just get a shot on the net and try to get my own rebound, I saw the wide open net and just back-handed it in,” said Stanek, who had five points in the win.

Stanek said the Packers were a little frustrated by the high number of penalties being called, but they got over it eventually.

“At first it did get to us like it always does, but we just had to put it in the back of our minds and not let the refs get to us. You can’t let that interfere with your game,” she said. “We’ve always thought of our penalty kill as a strong aspect of our game and we usually score at least one shorthanded goal per game.”

Seventh grader Allison Hoban had 27 saves in the win for Austin.

Austin has now won two of three with the one loss being a tough 3-2 shortcoming against Mankato East (8-0-1 overall). The Packers will host Faribault Tuesday and they open their Holiday tournament against Northfield Dec. 26.

“It’s good to get that first Big Nine win, it’s been kind of a monkey on our back,” Bray said. “We’ve got some tough games coming up and we’ll see how the girls do. We’re playing pretty good right now.”

Century 2 3 0 — 5

Austin 3 4 2 — 9

First period

(C) Jessica Aney (Katherine Aney) 1:53

(A) Ashley Arhart (shorthanded) (Kirsten Stanek) 5:11

(C) Madeline Eischen

(A) Carley Grunewald (Arhart, Vanessa Talamantes) 10:02

(A) Abby Gallaher 12:49

Second period

(A) Grunewald (Arhart, Stanek) 1:58

(C) Alison Schulte (McKenna Bridges, MaKenzie Birkestrand) 4:13

(A) Stanek (powerplay) (Arhart) 5:27

(C) Katherine Aney (powerplay) (Rebecca Lorsung, Jessica Aney) 8:00

(A) Stanek (shorthanded) (Talamantes) 11:35

(C) Lorsung (Jessica Faunce, Jessica Aney) 14:12

(A) Gallaher

Third period

(A) Grunewald (shorhanded) 6:04

(A) Gallaher (powerplay) (Stanek) 9:57

Shots: Austin — 35; Century — 32

Powerplays: Austin — 2-for-8; Century — 3-for-11