FAIRMONT - The Luverne boys hockey team had no trouble finding the back of the net, as Gunnar Olson scored two goals and had two assists to lead the visiting Cardinals to an 11-0 shutout over the Fairmont Area Cardinals in a nonconference game on Tuesday night at Martin County Arena in Fairmont.
The visiting Cardinals wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as Jonny Solma sent a pass out in front of the net to Skyler Wenninger, who slid the shot just inside the post at 16:20.
Luverne's Toby Sengvongxay carried the puck into the Fairmont Area zone and fired a laser over the shoulder of Colton Cunning to make it 2-0 with 14:54 left in the opening frame.
ICY CONTROL — Fairmont Area’s Rodney Engstrom (middle) battles Luverne teammates Cole Desplinter (2) and Austin Maxwell for control of the loose puck during nonconference hockey action on Tuesday night at Martin County Arena in Fairmont. Photo by Leanna Becker
Cunning turned away 21 of Luverne's 26 shots on goal in the first period, but Wenninger managed to score his second goal at 10:32.
Solma picked up a loose puck in the hometown Cardinal zone on a turnover and sent a quick pass to Wenninger on the doorstep for the quick score to make it 3-0.
"That was a good team we faced tonight. They will be one of the top teams in our section," said Fairmont Area head coach Brady Meyer. "We were missing a few guys and we're only running two lines. We knew it'd be a tough game, but they really shot the puck well."
The visiting Cardinals would score two more goals before the opening period ended, with Olson netting both scores.
Olson fired two shots at Cunning, scoring his first of the game on the second attempt to make it 4-0. His second was the lone power-play goal to give Luverne a 5-0 lead with 2:38 left in the first.
Fairmont Area got its first real scoring opportunity in the second when Grant Becker took a Luverne turnover at neutral ice into the visiting Cardinal zone, firing a shot on net with 7:39 left.
Unfortunately for Fairmont Area, the shot was one of 11 that was on net in the game, but wasn't able to light the lamp.
"We came out hoping to win the second period, and we had more shots and kept them from having as many goals. That period was better for us," said Meyer.
Luverne was able to to net three goals in the second, two coming from junior Logan Norman and one from Jordan Dingmann.
Two minutes and 30 seconds into the third period, Fairmont Area had another great scoring opportunity when Joe Nordquist snapped a centering pass to Sam Havnen, who was trailing on the left. Havnen fired a shot, but was unable to get it past Luverne netminder Connor Crabtree.
"In the third period, I could tell that we were really struggling because we were just burnt out," said Meyer. "The guys were working, but only having two lines really took its toll."
Chaz Smedsrud netted his second point of the game on Luverne's ninth goal at 12:35 in the third.
Sengvongxay fired a shot similar to his first goal of the game - from the top of the faceoff circle in the Fairmont Area end - for his second goal in the third period with 11:40 remaining.
Cole Desplinter tallied the final goal for Luverne at 4:10 with a shot that ricocheted off Cunning's shoulder and fell behind him and into the net.
Cunning made 42 saves for Fairmont Area, while Luverne fired 53 shots on net. Crabtree made 11 saves in the win.
Fairmont Area (1-2, 1-0) hosts Worthington in a nonconference game at 7 p.m. Thursday night at Martin County Arena.
Luverne (3-1) hosts Morris/Benson Area in a Southwest Conference game at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Fairmont 0-0-0- 0
L - Skyler Wenninger (Jonny Solma), 16:20.
L - Toby Sengvongxay (unassisted), 14:54.
L - Skyler Wenninger (Jonny Solma), pp., 10:32.
L - Gunnar Olson (Logan Norman, Chaz Smedsrud), 5:23.
L - Gunnar Olson (Jordan Dingmann, Connor Crabtree), 2:38.
L - Logan Norman (Gunnar Olson), 15:45.
L - Jordan Dingmann (Skyler Wenninger, Mark Spreiter), 12:19.
L - Logan Norman (Gunnar Olson), 2:40.
L - Chaz Smedsrud (Logan Norman, Gunnar Olson), 12:35.
L - Toby Sengvongxay (unassisted), 11:40.
L - Cole Desplinter (Jackson Frankenhoff, Andrew Jelken), 4:10.
Shots on goal: Fairmont Area 3-5-3-11; Luverne 26-16-11-53.
Saves: Colton Cunning (FA) 21-13-8-53; Connor Crabtree (L) 3-5-3-11.
Penalties: Fairmont Area 4 for 11 minutes; Luverne 2 for 4 minutes.
Power-play opportunities: Luverne 1 for 4; Fairmont Area 0 for 2.