McDougall blanks Royals for first victory of the season
Goalie Kyndra McDougall and the Laker defensive units played strong hockey Friday night in a 2-0 victory over Woodbury Area to notch the first Detroit Lakes girls hockey victory of the early season at Kent Freeman Arena.
McDougall turned aside all 34 Woodbury shots to record the shutout and got strong play from her top two defensive pairings in keeping the puck out of the net.
“It’s definitely a team effort; I can't go out and win by myself and they were there to pick me up when I was out of position,” said McDougall.
After tough losses to open the season against Fergus Falls and Thief River Falls, the Laker girls got a big win in the early going that they celebrated from the final horn all the way into the locker room.
“It’s very important and we’re very excited,” said McDougall. “It feels great.”
“Kyndra played really well and we played with confidence in front of her,” head coach Gretchen Norby said.
Anna Payne scored unassisted at the 13-minute mark for an early 1-0 lead. She leads the Lakers averaging a point a game with two goals and one assist this year.
Payne’s goal held up until the waning seconds as the teams battled back-and-forth through two periods with plenty of chances for both teams.
McDougall was aided by three Royals’ shots off the pipes and avoided disaster making a save after a messy line change with the Lakers gassed that gave Woodbury a four-on-one scoring opportunity.
DL’s junior goalie followed up with a big save on a one-timer off the stick of Annika Johnson as the Royals controlled the opening six minutes of the second period.
DL took momentum over and had scoring chances from Abagail King in the slot and a King breakaway with Lily Burnside leading to a solid chance from the right wing by Burnside.
The third line got into the act with some tic-tac-toe passing that found Josey Allen who nearly had her second goal of the season near the goal mouth.
Woodbury came out flying to start the third period but could not capitalize on a cross checking call on Payton Carlblom.
The Lakers absorbed the initial attack and six minutes of extended Royals’ puck possession in the DL end to slowly take over the pace of play.
Play evened out heading to the final four minutes. Norby called a timeout to discuss holding a one-goal lead down the stretch.
DL caught a break when Woodbury’s leading scorer Nicole Stickels was called for roughing with just over two minutes to play.
The Royals (0-3) pulled goaltender Anna Julius and Madyson Melgard got loose in the Woodbury end and scored into an empty net from the right circle with 27 seconds remaining to polish off the victory.
The Lakers celebrated post-game in the locker room and got a few words of advice from Norby.
“I just told them to remember this feeling and remember the work it took to get here,” she said. “There are certainly a lot of positives and those are the things we need to build off of. Anytime we can get a win in our building I’m happy and it was a total team effort.”
This early in the season, the Lakers have had steady play in the back end while figuring out a counterpunching offensive style.
“We are comfortable playing in our defensive zone but we don’t want to spend a lot of time in it,” Norby said. “That’s a positive and we know that on the other end we have to take advantage of those opportunities.”
Detroit Lakes led in shots after two periods 28-18 but the Royals stepped up their game in the third outshooting the Lakers 16-6 to even the game at 34 shots each.
DL improves to 1-2 overall and will face undefeated East Grand Forks in a Section 8A matchup Saturday, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. The Green Wave are 2-0 and have outscored their opponents 12-0.
WO 0 0 0 - 0
DL 1 0 1 - 2
DL - 15 Anna Payne (even strength)
DL - Madyson Melgard (even strength) (empty net)
Saves: McDougall 34; Julius 32