Northern Lakes took over first place in the Mid-State Conference with a 6-2 victory over the Laker girls hockey team Tuesday night at Kent Freeman Arena.
The Lakers were playing their first game in two weeks after the holiday break. The Lightning played three games over the break at a tournament in Blaine and had more jump in the rush while DL tried to shake off the rust from a fortnight off the ice.
Karrigan Hallisey was inches away from getting the Lakers off to a strong start early when her shot bounced off the right pipe and the crossbar.
Kyndra McDougall kept the zero on the board defensively making nine first period saves while the Lakers had only three shots on goal.
Both teams killed a penalty in the first period.
The Lightning struck quickly off the opening faceoff of the second period with pressure directed straight at the Laker net leading to a goal by Caitlyn Gutzman 41 seconds into the period on assists by Lou Koslowski and Hayden Boelter.
The Lakers had the lone power play of the period when Riley Fogerty was sent off for a hook at 5:58. Northern Lakes doubled up the Lakers on shots in the second period 15-7.
Elli Saxerud scored back-to-back goals for the visitors, the first on assists by Mackenzie Rickard and Ari LeMieur at 11:20 and three minutes later on a Savannah Abear helper to give Northern Lakes a 3-0 lead.
The Lightning took advantage of Laker turnovers to generate scoring opportunities all game and held a distinct advantage in puck possession time in the offensive end.
Madyson Melgard got the Lakers on the board scoring unassisted 24 seconds after Saxerud’s second tally working from below the goal line to send DL to the second intermission trailing by two goals..
Chelsea Skluzacek set up the first two Lightning goals of the third period. Chloe Deutsch scored at 3:20 and Sydney Tietz scored the first of her two goals a minute later for a commanding 5-1 lead.
Payton Carlblom scored the final Laker goal on a wrist shot from the left point with an assist to Kiley Pederson.
Tietz capped the scoring at 12:24 on a Deutsch assist for the 6-2 final.
Maddie Wahoske earned the victory stopping 14 Laker shots. Kyndra McDougall made 30 saves for DL.
The loss drops the Lakers to third place in the Mid-State at 3-2 with one game remaining in conference play against second place Prairie Centre (2-1). Northern Lakes improved to 3-1 to take over the top spot and completed the season sweep of DL in the process. The Lightning are looking for a second consecutive Mid-State title and can clinch with a victory over Prairie Centre on January 16.
The Lakers are 6-10 overall and face the top-ranked team in Class A Warroad at home Saturday, Jan. 6 in a Section 8A matchup at 5:30 p.m. The Lakers are 3-3 in the section, currently in fourth place. Warroad is 11-2-2 overall and 3-0-1 in 8A games
NL 0 3 3 - 6
DL 0 1 1 - 2
N - Caitlyn Gutzman (even strength) (Lou Koslowski, Hayden Boelter)
N - Elli Saxerud (even strength) (Mackenzie Rickard, Ari LeMieur)
N - Elli Saxerud (even strength) (Savannah Abear)
D - Madyson Melgard (even strength)
N - Chloe Deutsch (even strength) (Chelsea Skluzacek)
N - Sydney Tietz (power play) (Chelsea Skluzacek)
D - Payton Carlblom (even strength) (Kiley Pederson)
N - Sydney Tietz (even strength) (Chloe Deutsch)
Saves: N - Maddie Wahoske 14; D - Kyndra McDougall 30
Mid-State Conference Standings
Northern Lakes 3-1-0 6-7-0
Prairie Centre 2-1-0 7-7-0
Detroit Lakes 3-2-0 6-10-0
Park Rapids Area 0-4-0 2-13-0
Section 8A Standings
Thief River Falls 5-1-0 11-1-2
Warroad 3-0-1 11-2-2
East Grand Forks 4-1-1 10-3-1
Detroit Lakes 3-3-0 6-10-0
Park Rapids Area 1-6-0 2-13-0
Crookston 0-5-0 2-12-0