Sabers girls’ hockey rebounds with 6-3 upset over Northfield 02 Dec 11

The winter prep sports season is a long one, but that doesn’t make a 1-5 start any less frustrating.

On Thursday night, the Shakopee girls’ hockey team was determined not to let that record slip further when Northfield came to town. Despite the Raiders holding a 4-1 record and a top-20 ranking in class 2A, the Sabers dominated offensively and scored three goals in the second period on its way to a 6-3 win at Shakopee Arena.

Before the game, Sabers’ head coach Matt Klein told KRDS his team’s biggest problem was not scoring, but stopping other teams from doing so. By controlling the puck and offensive tempo for most of the game, Shakopee had to spend very little time defending Northfield’s attack.

Although the Raiders scored twice early in the game – on a pass from Mandie Cloud to Sarah Behr at 10:15, and an unassisted goal from Laine Fischer at 8:26 – the Sabers fired back five unanswered goals to take the lead.

Amy Menke scored the first Shakopee goal at 6:08 in the first period and then the next three goals in the second period at 11:07, 6:37 on an assist from Lauren Hespenheide, and 0:34. The Sabers dominated on Northfield’s end of the ice for the better part of the game and maintained time of possession for a majority of the final two periods. Another part of Shakopee’s success in the second and third periods came from six minutes of power play while some of the Raiders’ greatest offensive weapons watched from the penalty box.

Northfield’s normal style of play was interrupted by their inability to run a steady offense. Even the Raiders’ first two goals came on out-of-system and fast-break plays; their third came on a similar scramble play by Annie Pumper on a pass from Aleisha Bielenberg at 8:59 in the third period.

Shakopee’s final goals of the game came from Lauren Hespenheide and Joelle Lindstrom, at 15:00 and 6:35 in the third, respectively. The Sabers and Raiders spent the last scoreless minutes of the game in the neutral zone or the penalty box before time expired on Shakopee’s upset victory.

The Sabers move to 2-5 on the season and 1-1 in the Missota; Northfield falls to 4-2 and also evens their conference record at 1-1.

By Steph Schmidt