FAIRMONT - The Fairmont Area Cardinals girls hockey team took to the Martin County Arena ice for its first home game of the season and fired off five goals to defeat the Marshall Tigers 5-3 for the first victory of the season in Fairmont on Thursday night.
The Cardinal offense, led by Taylor Nuss' two-goal performance, fired a season-high 34 shots at Marshall netminder Morgan Morrill.
Miranda Fischer walked the puck into the Cardinal zone and had a one-on-one scoring opportunity for the Tigers, but Fairmont Area goalie Sadie Sandersfeld snared the shot to keep the game scoreless with 6:25 left in the opening period.
IN PURSUIT — Fairmont Area wing Brooke Lemon (11) and Marshall’s Lizzie Archbold pursue the loose puck during nonconference hockey action on Thursday night at Martin County Arena in Fairmont. The Cardinals went on to post a 5-3 victory over the Tigers. Photo by Leanna Becker
The Tigers' Hanna Peterson managed the first goal of the game, sending a Lizzie Archbold pass past Sandersfeld with 3:44 remaining in the first.
Fairmont Area, however, started the second period on the attack, and didn't let up, scoring three goals on 13 shots-on-net.
"After the first (period), I talked with the girls about being more aggressive on the forecheck," said Fairmont Area head coach Scott Kuhl. "We had three forwards a lot of times attacking and I think that really helped us."
Cardinal forward Jalyssa Wilson banged home a rebound on a hard shot by Myah Lytle a mere 18 seconds into the second period to tie the game at 1-1.
That started a scoring flurry, with both teams scoring a combined five goals in just over four minutes.
The Tigers took back the one-goal lead on a Jessica Blanchard shot from the blue line that snuck just under the crouching Sandersfeld at 15:29.
Nuss struck on an unassisted goal from the slot with 14:17 remaining in the period to tie the game again.
Again, the Tigers took the lead when Sonia Reynolds sent a pass right through the crease to Peterson, who snapped the one-timer into the net.
For the third time in the period, the Cardinals tied the game, this time on Lytle's first varsity goal. Wilson fired a shot at Morrill from the left side, and Lytle picked up the rebound and tapped it in to make it 3-3 with 12:47 on the clock in the middle frame.
"Both teams tonight are young and play similar types of hockey. We are mirror images of one another, so we knew it would be an evenly-matched game," said Kuhl.
One minute and nine seconds into the third period, Nuss gave the Cardinals a one-goal lead on a power play. Nuss slung a top-shelf forehand wrister past Morrill on a pass from defender Jenna Klages for her second goal of the game.
Brooke Lemon sealed the victory and gave the home team a little relief with a quick goal in front of the Tiger net and on senior night - with the lone senior Abby Rahm garnering an assist along with Klages. "Tonight the girls on this team had to learn how to win. They worked hard and we took care of the puck when we needed to. The kids really needed this," said Kuhl. "It was a pretty special night tonight. And I like to look at it that we are undefeated at home."
Fairmont Area (1-5) travels for a 1 p.m. game against St. Peter/Le Sueur-Henderson/Tri-City United in St. Peter on Saturday.
Marshall (3-4) travels for a noon game against Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Wadena-Deer Creek on Saturday in Long Prairie.
M - Hanna Peterson (Lizzie Archbold), 3:44.
F - Jalyssa Wilson (Myah Lytle), 16:42.
M - Jessica Blanchard (Morgan Larsen), 15:29.
F - Taylor Nuss (unassisted), 14:17.
M - Hanna Peterson (Sonia Reynolds), 13:00.
F - Myah Lytle (Jalyssa Wilson), 12:47.
F - Taylor Nuss (Jenna Klages), 15:51.
F - Brooke Lemon (Abby Rahm, Jenna Klages), 8:29.
Shots on goal: Fairmont Area 8-13-13-34; Marshall 6-10-2-18.
Saves: Sadie Sandersfeld (FA) 5-8-2-15; Morgan Morrill (M) 8-10-11-29.
Penalties: Fairmont Area 2 for 4 minutes; Marshall 5 for 13 minutes.