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Lakers have growing experience at state

LAKER FORWARD EMILY PAYNE (LEFT) pokes in her third goal for a natural hat trick Thursday against New Ulm inside the U of M's Ridder Arena in the Class 1A consolation semifinals.1 / 3
Callie Johnson (22) tries to fake out New Ulm goalie Julie Schaefer Thursday during the Class 1A consolation semifinals.2 / 3
DL GOALIE VERONICA BADUREK gets a piece of a New Ulm shot Thursday.3 / 3

The Class 1A state girls' hockey tournament was a positive first-time experience for the Detroit Lakes girls' hockey team, but it eventually ended with their longest game of the season.

The Lakers went out kicking and screaming, but they couldn't stop the inevitable of being eliminated from their first state appearance, losing to New Ulm 5-4 in double overtime for the consolation semifinals Thursday inside Ridder Arena at the University of Minnesota.

Sophomore defender Miranda McMullen's shot from the perimeter 1:54 into the second overtime, clinched the win for the Eagles, who completed quite the comeback after tying the score in the third period after trailing by two.

Even though the state playoffs ended for the Lakers, who finished their 2011-12 campaign with a 12-16-0 record, it was still one of the team's most successful seasons in history.

"Like I told the girls in the locker room after the game, 'You can't hang your heads, it was a historic season,'" said first-year DL head coach Gretchen Norby. "And from a coaching standpoint, we learned a lot of what it takes to play on this level and what we need to do to develop players to compete against state-caliber teams."

One of next year's returning forwards, junior Emily Payne, will definitely remember her inaugural trip to state.

Payne recorded the rare natural hat trick in the first two periods of play against New Ulm, which helped the Lakers take control 3-1.

After a 13-1 loss to No. 2 Warroad in the state opening round Wednesday, gaining their first lead of the tournament was a welcome feeling.

"The first goal gave us some momentum, which we just kept it going and the second one gave us more," Payne said.

Her power play goal 13:36 into the first period put DL up 1-0, but New Ulm answered on eighth grade forward Brittany Denn score just 2:15 later.

But Norby didn't think her team was playing too cautiously in the first period.

"I thought the first was pretty ugly for us, we had too many defensive mistakes again," the DL coach noted.

But the second period turned the game around, as Payne put two more goals in back-to-back, while junior forward Sydney Haman found the scoring column for DL's second power play tally of the game and a commanding 4-1 edge.

"It was by far our best period of the tournament, they really controlled play throughout," Norby added.

The Eagles (14-13-1) didn't allow the Lakers to skate into the second intermission with all the headway, as sophomore forward Morgan Schaefer stopped the bleeding and put the puck past Laker goalie Veronica Badurek to cut the lead in half at 4-2.

That proved to be vital, as it injected a healthy dose of energy in the Eagle skaters, as they came out in the third period firing.

New Ulm outshot the Lakers by a 13-3 margin and put the next two goals in by team-leading scorer sophomore Alexa Weiss on a breakaway and Denn, who scored her second of the contest.

"As you always tell the players in the locker room (during intermission), 'Don't sit on the lead', but it seemed we did that and it wasn't enough to stop New Ulm," Norby said.

The first five-minute overtime period was literally back-and-forth, with shots tied at 5-to-5, but none found nylon.

That led into McMullen's game-winner, as she put the shot on net from the left side perimeter and the puck found the far right lower sector.

The Lakers missed several chances to end the game by outshooting New Ulm 4-1, but it was that one which counted for the Eagles.

"We had our opportunities to win the game," Norby included.

Badurek finished with 27 saves, while New Ulm goalie Julia Schaefer had 30.

"Veronica played hard against Warroad and if she didn't play as well as she did, they could have had 20 goals on us," Norby said. "But I thought all of our players played a little scared (Thursday) and that affected us."

With the first historic steps to state behind them, the Lakers can now raise their bar higher for future years.

"The experience was amazing and it was fun to be here with the team," Payne added. "It was cool to show people the talent we have here."

Chisago Lakes defeated Hutchinson 5-2 in the other Class 1A consolation semifinal, while the championship semifinals Friday will feature No. 2 Warroad versus No. 3 South St. Paul and No. 1 Breck against No. 4 Redwing inside the Xcel Energy Center.

Warroad has big second period versus Lakers

It took precisely 13:44 into the first period for the Detroit Lakes girls' hockey team to realize the Class 1A state playoffs is a whole different level of hockey -- especially against the defending champions.

That was time of the third goal by the No. 2 seeded Warroad squad during the Class 1A quarterfinals inside the Xcel Energy Center Wednesday, and it marked the start of a record-setting scoring barrage for the heavily-favorite Warriors.

Warroad added another goal to head into the first period 4-0, which led into a nine-goal second period -- which is a new tournament scoring record for one period -- to bury the Lakers for a final score of 13-1.

"In between those first two goals and the next two, we were really moving the puck well and putting a lot of shots on net, which were not going in," said junior forward Sierra Hanowski, who finished with two goals and three assists. "But when we scored those two at the end of the period, it gave us plenty of momentum for the second period."

Warroad senior defender Hannah Johnston put the Warriors (23-4-1) on the board 2:13 into the game on a shot from the right slot, with assists by junior defender Courtney Bethune and Hanowski.

The Warriors continued to maintain possession of the puck and went up 2-0 on the first of two back-to-back goals by junior forward Kayla Gardner, after DL didn't pick up a loose puck in front of the net, thus exposing freshman goalie Veronica Badurek.

The Lakers were able to play some tighter defense the next eight minutes, but Gardner's second goal 13:44 into the game, started pounding severe cracks in DL's defense.

"We came into the game just worrying about ourselves and to play the right way," said Warroad head coach David Marvin on his team being the heavy favorite in the game. "We just concentrated on getting that first win and staying out of the Ridder (the arena for consolation games)."

Junior forward Lisa Marvin added another goal just 34 seconds later and the rout was just getting started.

"There were numerous times where we made a bad play and Warroad capitalized on it," said DL head coach Gretchen Norby. "We made similar mistakes like that during the season and got away with them. Against a team like Warroad, you usually don't."

The Lakers were not able to record their first shot on net until the 6:42 mark in the first period and finished with just two, compared to Warroad's 16.

The game ended 50-14 in favor of Warroad.

"It was frustrating," said senior DL forward Brianna Seebold, who is the team's all-time leading scorer. "Warroad played some tight defense and we couldn't generate any offense. They kept us outside and they would go down and score, because we were caught down low."

That led into a nine-goal second period, where Warroad outshot the Lakers (12-15-0) by a hefty 24-6 margin in the second.

"We were getting every bounce, every screen, every tip, it just seemed like everything was going in," Hanowski said.

The Lakers were able to crack the scoreboard in the third period on Warroad goalie replacement Danielle Knott, which at face value may have not meant much, but it did to the Lakers.

The score came 7:53 into the period, as junior forward Emily Payne made a no-look pass off the boards behind the net to Seebold, who was planted in the right slot.

The goal proceeded another apparent goal by Payne, but it was called off due to interference of the goalie.

"That was frustrating, because we worked so hard for that first goal," Seebold said of the disallowed score. "Emily (Payne) made a great pass to me, though. We wanted to get on the board so bad."

Eighth grade forward Chandra Johnson was also credited with an assist.

Norby agreed the score was important for her team.

"If we take anything positive out of this game, is we got on the board and showed our players what it takes to score against good teams," Norby said.

For the Warriors, getting out of the third period healthy was the main goal.

"You work on offending as least amount of people as possible and get the period done with, because it's not fun for anyone," Marvin said.

For Warroad, Gardner recorded a hat trick, while each of Hanowski, Demi Gardner and Lynn Astrup had two apiece.

Badurek finished with 27 saves during her busy two periods, while teammate Veronica Roy had 10 in the third.

Warroad's Dayton Hilgert had eight saves and Danielle Knott five.

Laker results

Class 1A State quarterfinals: (2) Warroad vs. Detroit Lakes, Wednesday, Feb. 22.

Lakers 0 0 1 - 1

Warriors 4 9 0 - 13

1st Period -- Scoring: WRRD - Johnston Goal (Bethune, Hanowski) 2:13. WRRD - Gardner Goal (Marvin) 5:20. WRRD - Gardner Goal (Gardner, Hanowski) 13:44. WRRD - Astrup Goal (Gardner, Berg) 14:18. Penalties: Berg, WRRD (Hooking, Minor, 2 min) 6:33.

2nd Period -- Scoring: WRRD - Marvin Goal (Astrup) 1:13. WRRD - Gardner Goal (Gardner, Marvin) 1:41. WRRD - Astrup Goal (PP) 4:39. WRRD - Egeland Goal (Hanowski, Johnston) 8:36. WRRD - Hanowski Goal (Egeland) 9:23. WRRD - Gardner Goal (Marvin, Gardner) 9:53. WRRD - Gardner Goal (Gardner, Pelland) 12:24. WRRD - Berg Goal (Wilmer) 15:49. WRRD - Hanowski Goal (Egeland, Nelson) 16:15. Penalties: Larsen, DL (Hooking, Minor, 2 min) 4:17. Larsen, DL (Hooking, Minor, 2 min) 4:17. Carr, WRRD (Checking, Minor, 2 min) 4:40. Berg, WRRD (Hooking, Minor, 2 min) 16:39. Raboin, DL (Checking, Minor, 2 min) 16:46.

3rd Period -- Scoring: DL - Seebold Goal (PP) (Payne, Johnson) 7:53. Penalties: Egeland, WRRD (Checking, Minor, 2 min) 3:49. Johnston, WRRD (Tripping, Minor, 2 min) 7:04. Schaible, WRRD (Roughing, Minor, 2 min) 9:54. Schaible, WRRD (Roughing, Minor, 2 min) 9:54. Seebold, DL (Tripping, Minor, 2 min) 11:24. Gardner, WRRD (Roughing, Minor, 2 min) 11:55.

Shots on goal - DL 2 6 6 - 14...Warr 16 24 10 - 50.

Saves - DL (Veronica Badurek) 27, (Veronica Roy) 10...Warr (Dayton Hilgert) 8, (Danielle Knott) 5.

Class 1A state consolation semifinals in Ridder Arena, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Thursday, Feb. 23: Detroit Lakes vs. New Ulm,

1st Period -- Scoring: DL - Payne Goal (PP) (Seebold, Johnson) 3:24. N.U. - Denn Goal (Weiss) 16:53. Penalties: Abrahamson, N.U. (Hooking, Minor, 2 min) 1:52. Denn, N.U. (Interference, Minor, 2 min) 3:14. Friesen, DL (Tripping, Minor, 2 min) 7:43. Payne, DL (Interference, Minor, 2 min) 15:04.

2nd Period -- Scoring: DL - Payne Goal (Larsen) 5:18. DL - Payne Goal (Seebold) 10:03. DL - Haman Goal (PP) (Johnson) 13:05. N.U. - Schaefer Goal (Denn, Denn) 14:04. Penalties: Seebold, DL (Checking, Minor, 2 min) 5:51. Anderson, N.U. (Hooking, Minor, 2 min) 12:01.

3rd Period -- Scoring: N.U. - Weiss Goal 5:01. N.U. - Weiss Goal (Denn) 12:59. Penalties: Johnson, DL (Tripping, Minor, 2 min) 8:26.

OT1 Period -- Scoring: None Penalties: None

OT2 Period -- Scoring: N.U. - McMullen Goal (Weiss) 1:54. Penalties: None.

Shots on goal - DL 10 12 3 5 4 - 34...NU 8 5 13 5 1 - 32.

Saves - DL (Veronica Badurek) 27...NU (Julie Schaefer) 30.

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.