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Stich-ing up a W: Austin junior nets first period hat trick

Austin junior Lexi Stich put together a game’s worth of goals in a handful of minutes as she kickstarted the No. 3 seeded Austin girls hockey team to a 8-1 win over No. 6 Waseca in a Section 1A quarterfinal game in Riverside Arena Wednesday.

Stich scored her three goals in a four-minute stretch of the first period to put the Packers up 4-0 and Austin cruised from that point on.

Stich hadn’t scored a hat trick since she played youth hockey, but she was ready to convert when the puck came her way.

“It was really nice to start off like that and it was a good momentum booster for the team. We just worked as a team and we knew what we were up against. I love these girls and they’re like my family. I’m so excited to stay with them and keep the season going.”

Austin led 6-0 in the second period before Waseca (1-25 overall) got on the scoreboard.

Austin’s Jordyn McCormack, left, embraces Lexi Stich after Stich scored a first period goal against Waseca in a Section 1A Quarterfinal in Riverside Arena Wednesday. Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

“We thought we had earned the No. 3 seed and there was a lot of debate between the teams in the seeding meeting,” Austin head coach Troy Holtz said. “I think tonight we proved why we deserved to be the three.”

Shelby Davidson had 38 saves for Austin and she stopped 17 of the 18 shots she saw in the second period to prevent a Waseca comeback.

A pair of middle schoolers scored their first ever varsity goals in the third period as eighth grader-Camille Dunlap and seventh-grader Brenna Haedt each found the net.

The Packers (12-12 overall) will play at No. 2 Faribault (18-5 overall) in a Section 1A semifinal contest Saturday. The Falcons won both regular season meetings with Austin, which has won six of its last seven games.

“We are looking forward to Faribault. We fought hard to get the three seed because we feel we can play with them,” Holtz said. “I know this team feels confident that we can play with them and take it to them.”

Austin’s Megan Schultz puts a shot on net agaisnt Waseca in Riverside Arena Wednesday. Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

SCORING SUMMARY

Waseca 0 1 0  —  1

Austin 4 2 2  —  8

First period

(A) Lexi Stich (Sarah Wangen) 10:15

(A) Stich (Kate Holtz) 10:30

(A) Holtz (Peyton Squier) 12:44

(A) Stich (Jordyn McCormack, Holtz) 14:19

Second period

(A) Wangen (McCormack, Mikiah Rumsey) :42

(A) McCormack (power play) 3:15

(W) Jayde Pderson (Cecelia Huttemier) 4:07

Third period

(A) Camille Dunlap (McCormack) 3:11

(A) Brenna Haedt (A.J. Berrera, Wangen) 14:00

Shots: Austin — 38; Waseca — 39