Laker girls' hockey advances to semifinals on Sonstegard's 2 goals
The knocking at the door grew louder and louder as each minute wore on during the Section 6-1A playoff quarterfinals in Kent Freeman Arena and finally by late in the third period, Detroit Lakes’ forward Hailey Sonstegard kicked the door in.
Sonstegard’s back-to-back goals at the 11:36 and 15:28 marks helped the No. 4 seeded Lakers advance to the section semifinals with a 2-0 victory over visiting No. 5 Wadena-Deer Creek Saturday.
The Lakers repeatedly made shots throughout the game, only to be denied by W-DC goalie Angela Hanson, who had 26 saves in the game.
That was, until DL’s leading scorer Sonstegard broke the scoreless tie on a power play goal 11:36 into the third, with Chandra Johnson assisting.
“Props to Wadena's goaltender, she very much kept them in the game,” said DL head coach Gretchen Norby. “The girls did a nice job of controlling the play and creating good scoring opportunities. I think we had three pipes in the first period alone, but unfortunately just couldn't find the back of the net.”
The Lakers had a 12-1 advantage in shots on goal in the second period alone, but the score was still at zeros heading into the third, where it grew more even 7-6 in favor of DL.
Sonstegard added the insurance goal just over four minutes later on an unassisted effort.
“I just told the girls (during the intermissions) to keep doing what they were doing and be determined to win the battles to the pucks and get as many on net as we could,” Norby said. “We didn't do a great job on rebounds and we needed to do a better job of collapsing on the net.
“Fortunately we were able to go out and continue to control the play and Hailey Sonstegard was able to find the back of the net for us off a nice Chandra Johnson shot.”
Laker goalie Veronica Badurek didn’t allow much of second chances in the form of rebounds to the Blue Demons.
She finished with 12 saves.
“It was good for Veronica to be tested early on and she had to make a couple of big saves for us,” Norby said. “She will be a huge part going into tomorrow’s game with Alexandria.
“The defense played solid by taking away Wadena's opportunities in our defensive end and clearing out in front of the net to get Veronica a clear view on those shots.”
The Lakers (9-10-4) will travel to top-seeded Alexandria (12-11-1) Tuesday for a 7 p.m. start.
“The key is we need to jump on them early and if we can't do that we need to keep it close,” Norby said. “Veronica will be a huge key to our success tomorrow. She played well when we saw them three weeks ago and started to frustrate them a little bit.
“If she is on her game, which she normally is when we play them, we will have a chance. Our defense will need to play aggressive and physical against a strong Alexandria fore check.”
The Section 6-1A finals will be Friday, starting at 7 p.m. at a neutral site to be determined after the semifinal rounds.
Section 6-1A quarterfinals: (5) Wadena-Deer Creek at (4) Detroit Lakes, Saturday, Feb. 1.
Blue Demons 0 0 0 – 0
Lakers 0 0 2 – 2
1st Period -- Scoring: None. Penalties: Wenger, DL (Checking, Minor, 2 min) 5:02; Sturdevant, LPGE-W (Goaltender Interference, Minor, 2 min) 14:50. Goalie Changes: None.
2nd Period -- Scoring: None. Penalties: None. Goalie Changes: None.
3rd Period -- Scoring: DL - Sonstegard Goal (power play) (Johnson) 11:36; DL - Sonstegard Goal (even strength) 15:28. Penalties: Casperson, LPGE-W (Tripping, Minor, 2 min) 11:25; Wenger, DL (Checking, Minor, 2 min) 13:13. Goalie Changes: None.
Shots on goal – DL 9 12 7 – 28…WDC 5 1 6 – 12.
Saves – DL (Veronica Badurek) 12…WDC (Angela Hanson) 26.