Head coach Scott Piepkorn stressed to his players the importance of shooting the puck low and looking for rebounds and the No. 4 Lakers combined that with a strong forecheck in a three-goal first period en route to a 6-1 Section 8A playoff victory over No. 5 Crookston Friday, Feb. 8 at Kent Freeman Arena.
Eighth-grader Ella Hess got the Lakers on the board on a shot off of Sydney Brininger’s stick from the defense that found Hess who roofed the puck over the glove of Crookston goalie Grace Koshney at 4:20 of the first period. Adisyn Strand assisted on the goal.
DL’s second score was set up on another shot from the point when McKenna Burhans’ wrist shot was redirected by senior Karrigan Hallisey in the slot at 7:14 for a 2-0 lead.
Payton Carlblom scored unassisted on the power play for the three-goal lead at the end of a period of play. Carlblom was alone in the slot and fired a shot over the blocker of Koshney.
Crookston played its best hockey in the second period and got two quick shots on DL netminder Leah Honer on 20 seconds of carryover power play time. The Pirates needed offense as they were outshout 15-3 in the first period.
Crookston had the only goal of the period on a nice two-on-one conversion on Aleah Bienek’s pass to Dillynn Wallace who had a wide-open net buring to puck to get within two goals.
Shots were 10-6 in favor of the Lakers after DL picked up their pace of play in the latter half of the period.
Senior Abagail King took any drama in play out of the game scoring 15 seconds into the third period for a 4-1 lead on assists by Emma Coley and Payton Carlblom.
The Lakers put together a second three-goal period when Madyson Melgard got the puck into the net out of a pile in front at 14:56 with assists to King and Hallisey.
Burhans capped the scoring with her first career varsity goal with three-seconds left in regulation with assists credited to Hallisey and Lily Burnside.
Hallisey, DL’s leading scorer this season, led all skaters with a three point night (1G, 2A). King, Burhans and Carlblom each had a goal and an assist.
Final shots were 48-12 Lakers. Honer made 11 saves to pick up her first career playoff victory.
The Laker victory was a first in the playoffs since the 2015-16 season. Crookston ends the year with a record of 4-19-1. DL improved to 7-17 overall and advanced to the section semifinals where they will face undefeated No. 1 Warroad (24-0-1) Friday, Feb. 9 at the Crookston Arena at 4 p.m. No. 2 Thief River Falls (15-9) and No. 3 East Grand Forks (15-8-2) square off in the nightcap at 6:15 p.m. The Green Wave advanced in a 9-0 victory over Park Rapids (0-21) in the opening round.
CR 0 1 0 - 1
DL 3 0 3 - 6
D - Ella Hess (even strength) (Adisyn Strand)
D - Karrigan Hallisey (even strength) (McKenna Burhans)
D - Payton Carlblom (power play)
C - Dillynn Wallace (even strength) (Aleah Bienek)
D - Abagail King (even strength) (Emma Coley, Payton Carlblom)
D - Madyson Melgard (short handed) (Abagail King, Karrigan Hallisey)
D - McKenna Burhans (even strength) (Karrigan Hallisey, Lily Burnside)