Dodge County goes 1-1 against Northfield and Warroad
The Dodge County girls’ hockey team ended her three-game losing streak by beating Northfield 3-2, but their next opponent Warroad, second-ranked team in Class 1A, was just too good as they beat the Wildcats 5-0 on Saturday, Jan. 18.
The Wildcats’ game against the Northfield Raiders didn’t get off to a good start as the Raiders scored the first goal of the game, but Dodge County responded when Elizabeth Fagerlind scored a power play goal off an assist by Kayla Schubert.
Unfortunately for the Wildcats, they couldn’t maintain that tie very long as the Raiders added another goal just a few minutes later and took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
In the second period, Dodge County played better defensively as they held Northfield scoreless.
Then, the Wildcats tied the game again when Nevaeh Trihey buried a shot past the Raiders’ goalie. Kennedy Kraus and Malia Schubert earned assists on the goal.
In the third period, neither team could break the tie so the game went to overtime.
Finally, one their sixth shot of overtime, the Trihey-Kraus-Malia Schubert line struck again when Schubert scored off assists by the other two.
“Nevaeh made a nice feed to the slot and Malia had a point blank shot,” said Head Coach Jeremy Gunderson.
Overall, the Wildcats held a 49-14 shot advantage over the Raiders.
“It really reflects where were at as a program. Northfield is the favorite to win Big 9 Conference and we’ve now beaten the top two teams in the Big 9: Northfield and Owatonna,” he said.
He mentioned that the margin of victory could have been even larger given the way Dodge County’s offense controlled the game, but Northfield’s goalie “played awesome.”
In addition to his offense, Gunderson was also pleased with how his defense played.
“I’m really happy with our total team defense. We gave up just 14 shots throughout the three periods and overtime so that’s about four shots per period, which is excellent,” he said.
Overall, he said, “It was one of our better games. We really couldn’t have asked for more, but you can’t really do much against a goalie that’s on fire. It’s definitely a game they deserved to win.”
With this win behind them, he believes his team will be a three seed in the section tournament, behind Lakeville South and Farmington. If the Wildcats are a three seed, they would end up hosting a section playoff game.
However, just two days later, Dodge County had a much tougher test against Warroad who had just beaten ninth-ranked Rochester Lourdes 9-0.
In the first period, the Warriors scored two goals. Despite that, Gunderson was happy with his team’s effort as the outshot Warroad 12-8.
“For us it was a good period, we played great hockey, but we were down 0-2,” he said.
In the second period, Warroad tacked on one more goal to take a 3-0 lead.
He said the Wildcats made a few too many mistakes, such as chasing a Warrior skater behind the net thus leaving a hole in their coverage in front of the net.
“Against lesser teams you can get away with some of those mistakes, but you can’t against Warroad,” he said.
In the third period, the Warriors added two more goals, but Gunderson explained that they started to get more shots in the later periods when he put his reserves in to give them experience against a big time program.
That way the younger players will be ready for varsity speed when they’re give more playing time in the future.
“We don’t rebuild, we just reload,” he said.
Another positive that came from this game is that the Wildcats prevented one of the Warrior’s star players, Hannah Corneliusen, from scoring.
“We played the body well and didn’t give her any space,” said Gunderson.
Dodge County goalie stopped nearly 90% of the shots she faced, 41 of 46.
The schedule doesn’t get much easier for the Wildcats as their next three games are on the road, including a trip to face the sixth-ranked Proctor/Hermantown this Friday.
Dodge County’s final regular season home game is against fifth-ranked Hutchinson at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1.