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Girls Hockey Wrap-up: Lakers keep making progress

Hailey Sonstegard (8) led the Lakers in scoring with 17 goals and four assists. DL NEWSPAPERS/Brian Basham

Positive steps were taken for the Detroit Lakes girls’ hockey team, after finishing 7-11-4 and playing to the Section 6-1A playoff semifinals.

There was an uptick in goal production for the Lakers, while junior goalie Veronica Badurek filled the net nicely as goalie.

“I thought our shooting and getting the puck to the net progressed nicely throughout the season,” said DL head coach Gretchen Norby. “We needed to put some points on the board in order to win hockey games and it was nice to see some spread out scoring to do that. We had some girls really step up and put the puck in the net for us this season.”

Leading scorer sophomore forward Hailey Sonstegard had a breakout season with 21 points, with 17 goals and four assists. Junior forward Randa Larsen added 18 points with 11 goals and seven assists, while junior forward Emily Seebold had seven goals and five assists.

“Hailey Sonstegard is dangerous anytime she is around the net and Randa Larsen and Emily Seebold also created some nice offensive opportunities for us,” Norby said.

The ability to create open ice and shooting lanes was a crucial step in the learning process for the attack, while depth in the younger ranks is also developing.

“I think we need to keep doing what we are doing,” Norby said. “We progressed nicely throughout the season and as the girls gained more confidence, I thought that showed on the ice.

“We need to continue to work on our stickhandling and shooting in the offseason so that we are able to control and support the puck better in our offensive end. I think our quality of shots can improve, as well as finding that ‘attack mentality’ anywhere in our offensive zone.”

The Lakers young defensive zone also had a leap of improvement throughout the season, which helped Badurek in net.

The DL goalie had a save percentage of 9.7, while saving 496 shots on 547 shots on goal.

“Veronica came in and exceeded my expectation,” Norby added. “After a few hiccups early on, she really stepped it up and played well for us.

“As the season progressed she did a better job of controlling her rebounds, staying focused and she really took it upon herself to be a solid goaltender. It was fun to see her progress as well as watch how her play gave confidence to the team that played in front of her.”

Overall, the success the young Lakers tasted will be a good motivator for the next upcoming season, one in which the bar will be raised yet again.

The Lakers will lose two seniors, though, in Lexi Fritz and Annikka Anderson.

“I felt like it was a positive season,” Norby said. “We play some very tough teams and the team we were at the end of the season was a better team than what we started with.

“We competed well within our section and won some games against tough teams.

“Our goals were to be a better team with every game we played and I felt we did that.”

Norby likes the future of the program, with a solid core returning and will be able to bring some players up from the JV team.

“Our JV team had a good season as well, going through their share of ups and downs,” the DL coach said. “Tarissa Wheeler stepped in to play goaltender and did a nice job with no previous experience in the position.

“The girls on that team really worked hard this year and improved and are moving closer to being varsity players for us. I expect us to be one of the top teams in Section 6-1A and hopefully get back into that section championship game.”  

The 2013-14 Detroit Lakes girls’ hockey season stats

Record: 7-11-4

Scoring (goals-assists-points) – Hailey Sonstegard 17-4-21; Randa Larsen 11-7-18; Emily Seebold 7-5-12; Savanna Nolan 1-8-9; Hannah Rhodes 7-1-8; Samantha Benson 3-2-5; Haileigh Wenger 1-4-5; Chandra Johnson 2-3-5; Jamie Bollig 0-4-4; Sydney Haman 0-3-3; Annika Anderson 1-2-3; Brittany Ginnaty 1-1-2; Emily Schiltz 0-1-1; Alexis Fritz 0-1-1. TOTALS: 51-47-98.

Goalie stats (W-L-T-SOG -SV-SV Perct.) – Veronica Badurek 6-9-3-547-496-90.7; Haileigh Wenger 0-1-1-42-29-69.0.=

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