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Lakers find third win of season in Wadena

DETROIT LAKES - Playing with a lead is nice, as the Detroit Lakes girls' hockey team found out.

The Lakers reeled off three quick goals to start their Thursday road game against Wadena-Deer Creek/Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, as DL didn't look back the rest of the way for a 5-1 Section victory.

Senior goalie Winona Goettel stopped 17 Blue Demon shots and allowed just one goal, which came in the first period.

"The girls came out and played with a lot of enthusiasm," said DL head coach Dan Maloney. "They played three real solid periods and the scoring was spread out, while going at the net hard."

The win was an important one, which started a key three-game stretch in which the Lakers have games against section opponents.

If the Lakers (3-13-1) can take their next two games -- on the road this past Saturday against Pequot Lakes (1-10-0) and Tuesday at Morris/Benson (13-4) -- they have a good shot at securing the No. 3 seed for the section playoffs.

"This was a big section win to start off with," Maloney said. "If we can get by Pequot Lakes (Saturday), then Tuesday's game against Morris/Benson is a really big section game.

"They have a good record, but they also haven't played as tough a schedule as we have. We need to go there and bring our best game."

Eighth grade forward Callie Johnson struck gold twice in the first period, opening the game with a tally just 2:34 into the contest. Brittney Housholder was credited with the assist.

Defensive player Kortni Ackerson followed up just 2:14 later, with each of Melissa Gravelle and Brianna Bremseth gaining the assists.

The score was bumped to 3-0 1:13 later, with Johnson going for her second goal, this coming on an unassisted breakaway effort.

"The girls were creating quality scoring opportunities," Maloney said. "Callie also had two nice goals in the first period."

The Blue Demons broke their scoreless game, finding the back of the net with 1:53 left in the first period.

But that was all W-DC/LP-GE could muster up against Goettel, who shut the home team down the rest of the way.

"The defense was determined to minimize (W-DC's) shots," Maloney said. "The defense also blocked a number of shots, up to 10 and when they did get through, Winona made some nice saves."

Insurance was purchased with two goals in the second period, the first coming off of sophomore forward Brita Johnson's stick -- with the assist coming by sophomore forward Hayley Maloney.

DL's senior Katie Mollberg put the finishing touches on the victory, with an unassisted goal 8:15 into the second.

The Lakers travel to Morris/Benson Tuesday and will play at Bemidji (12-5-1) Thursday for a 7:30 p.m. start.

Laker results

Detroit Lakes at Wadena-Deer Creek/Long Prairie-Grey Eagle in Wadena, Thursday, Jan. 22.

Lakers 3 2 0 - 5

Blue Demons 1 0 0 - 1

First period -- 1. DL, Callie Johnson (Brittney Housholder) 2:34; 2. DL, Kortni Ackerson (Melissa Gravelle) 4:48; 3. DL, Johnson (UA) 5:35; 4. WDC, (name not available) 15:07.

Second period -- 5. DL, Brita Johnson (Hayley Maloney) 4:14; 6. DL, Katie Mollberg (UA) 8:15.

Third period -- No scoring.

Saves -- DL (Winona Goettel) 17.