Raiders Turn the Tables on Huskies, Knock Owatonna From the Playoffs
The Huskies scored first, but Northfield came out with more energy than they had in the match up a week earlier on Dudley Otto Rink in Owatonna. The result was a 4-1 Raiders' girls' hockey victory in the Section 1AA semifinals. Northfield advances to the finals Thursday, February 17 in Owatonna against Lakeville South.
Northfield scored two power play goals, the second on a 5-on-3 skater-advantage early in the third period to push their lead to 3-1.
OHS, who had beaten Northfield 2-0 on February 5 to secure the outright Big Nine Conference championship, scored first. A blast by Abby Vetsch was tipped in by Samantha Bogen on the power play at 10:38 of the first period. Ezra Oien assisted.
Northfield evened the score less than five minutes into the second period on the power play. Emerson Garlie scored the first of her three goals. Raiders' leading scorer Ayla Puppe had an assist, for her only point of the night. The talented sophomore has 68 points on the season.
With six minutes left in the second, the Raiders sprang Tove Sorenson on a stretch pass behind the OHS defense for a breakaway goal. Northfield took the 2-1 lead into the intermission.
After Garlie's 5-on-3 goal, she tipped a puck in for her hat trick marker near the nine minute mark. Hats rained down on the ice in the jam-packed, sold-out Northfield Ice Arena. Raider players helped clean up the wardrobe malfunction and toss the headwear back to their fans.
Northfield outshot the Huskies 25-19. Owatonna had outshot the Raiders in each of the previous two games.
The loss marked the end of stellar high school careers for Owatonna senior players Olivia Herzog, Ava Wolfe and Gabi Lamont and manager Syd Hall. The Huskies went 16-9-2 overall and won their ninth overall conference title with a 12-0-1 record.
The No. 2 seed Raiders (18-5-3) will play top seed Lakeville South (25-2) for the Section 1AA title at 7:30 pm Thursday, February 17 at Four Seasons in Owatonna. Northfield beat the Cougars 4-2 on November 18.
The Section 1A final at 5 pm pits Albert Lea against Austin, also at Four Seasons Centre. Owatonna Live will stream both games for a charge.