Packer girls ice Tigers

Published 11:56 pm Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Austin's Carley Grunewald watches her shot reach the net for the Packers' first goal of the game in the first period against Albert Lea Tuesday night at Riverside Arena. - Eric Johnson/

The Austin girls hockey team continues to rely on its most experienced line — and it continues to win.

Carley Grunewald netted three goals and Abby Gallaher had four assists as the Packers (5-2 overall, 3-1 Big Nine) topped Albert Lea 5-2 in Riverside Arena Tuesday.

Austin's Abby Gallaher skates the puck into the Albert Lea zone Tuesday night at Riverside Arena. - Eric Johnson/

Grunewald and Gallaher’s line, which also includes Kennedy Thompson, who also scored a goal, was responsible for 26 of Austin’s first 28 shots on goal against the Tigers (1-7 overall, 1-2 Big Nine).

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“We thought they would come out strong against us, considering they haven’t won a lot this year,” Gallaher said. “Since we weren’t as good last year, they probably didn’t think we’ve improved much, but we sure have.”

AL took a 2-1 lead early in the second period when Natasha Moyer slapped a powerplay goal off of Austin goalie Allison Hoban’s leg.

Grunewald responded just two minutes later with a stick-back goal off a shot on goal from Gallaher.

Austin took the lead for good with 7:02 left in the second period when eighth grader Teigen Petersen got her stick up to redirect a slap-shot from Vanessa Talamantes. The puck ended up in the net and it was Petersen’s first varsity goal in her first game at forward.

“I just moved her to forward from defense because I wanted to get her more ice time,” Austin head coach Denny Bray said. “She was so worried about playing forward and I told her there’s nothing to worry about. She’s pretty happy now.”

Grunewald, Thompson and Gallaher all have now had hat tricks this season, but Grunewald’s not about to start looking for her shot any more often. Grunewald’s first two goals came on rebounds and her last goal, which made it 4-2 with 25 seconds left in the second period, came on a double-clutch slap-shot on a powerplay.

“I’m not the strongest shooter on the team and I can’t aim at all,” Grunewald said. “I just wait for it to come back out. We don’t really care who scores, we’d rather have everybody touch the puck before we score.”

While Austin came out a little sluggish in the first period, Bray said his team played its best period in the second. He was glad his team didn’t overlook the Tigers due to their record.

“No matter what their record is, they’re going to come hard,” Bray said. “They’re record isn’t how they play. They’ve got a new goaltender and she’s learning.”

Hoban finished with 27 saves in net for Austin.


Albert Lea 1 1 0 — 2

Austin 1 3 1 — 5

First period

(A) Carley Grunewald (Kennedy Thompson, Abby Gallaher) 7:11

(AL) Hannah Savelkoul (Mackenzie Waldemar, Sydney Overgaard) 14:08

Second period

(AL) Natasha Moyer (powerplay) (Anna Anderson) 3:48

(A) Grunewald (Gallaher, Vanessa Talamantes) 4:44

(A) Teigen Petersen (Talamantes) 9:58

(A) Grunewald (powerplay) (Gallaher) 16:35

Third period

(A) Thompson (empty net) (Gallaher) 16:40

Shots: Austin — 33; Albert Lea — 29

Powerplays: Austin — 1-for-5; Albert Lea — 1-for-4