Wildcats’ upset bid ends in quadruple OT
Throughout its season, the Dodge County girls hockey team showed flashes of what it could be capable of once they hit the playoffs. With a strong defense and just enough scoring punch, the Wildcats showed that they could slug it out with anyone they should run into in the section tournament and make a run that some would have considered surprising just three months ago.
The Wildcats were coming off a gauntlet of a schedule to close the season, but they used that as a learning experience. While the Wildcats weren’t able to play to their absolute best due to injuries and sickness, they were still able to squeak out a win against Rochester John Marshall/Lourdes and took Lakeville South to the brink before falling in four overtimes.
“We had a lot of kids that played when they really didn’t want to play hockey,” Dodge County head coach Jeremy Gunderson explained. “We weren’t the healthiest, but the kids gave it all they had and played with a ton of heart.”
Dodge County’s section run began on February 8 when they hosted the Rockets and this was an entertaining game on both sides of the ice. The Wildcats opened with a flurry of shots on net, but couldn’t find their way past Sophie Hyke in the early stages. That opened the door for JM/Lourdes as Renee Saltness would slip an unassisted goal past Gabby Suhr to give her team a 1-0 advantage.
But the Wildcats would answer back with Barrett Boyer leading the break and shooting a laser right over the shoulder of Hyke to tie the game heading into intermission. Coming out of the locker room, Olivia Smallbrock would put Dodge County ahead with an assist from Kennedy Kraus to make the score 2-1 heading into the third period.
Brooklyn Birdseye had an answer almost as soon as the period started as her goal tied the game at two, but Amber Miller would have the last word scoring off a feed from Malia Schubert and Ally Gunderson to give the Wildcats a 3-2 victory.
“It wasn’t the prettiest game,” Gunderson admitted. “They got a couple of goals