FAIRMONT - Fairmont Area's girls hockey lines bombarded Veronica Sinell with 52 shots on Saturday, but the St. Peter/Le Sueur-Henderson junior netminder allowed only two to light the lamp.
Sinell recorded an incredible 50 saves, while teammates Maddie Kleschult and Chloe Bachman each produced one goal and one assist to guide the Bulldogs to a 4-2 South Central Conference triumph over the hometown Cardinals at Martin County Arena.
"We were puck unlucky today. We couldn't get a bounce to go in our direction," Fairmont Area head coach Scott Kuhl said in reference to his lineup's 52-22 shots-on-goal edge that netted only two scores.
DIVING SAVE — Fairmont Area’s Miranda O’Connor dives on the puck to make a save on St. Peter/Le Sueur-Henderson’s Chelsea Kaelberer’s shot while Cardinal defender Jenna Klages (front left) tries to protect O’Connor in girls South Central Conference hockey action on Saturday in Fairmont. The Bulldogs’ Alison Plieseis and the Cardinals' Katie Hohensee (5) look on. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
Sinell, however, displayed her mettle and goaltending skills by stonewalling 27 Cardinal blasts during the middle segment, including a frenetic 4 minutes in which the Bulldogs were whistled for three 2-minute penalties during a 52-second span.
"We just couldn't get the puck to go in during that extended power play in the second period," said Kuhl.
Trailing 2-1, eighth-grade center Taylor Nuss drew Fairmont Area even on the scoreboard by converting the home team's seventh and final power-play opportunity 59 seconds into the third period.
Nuss corraled the puck at neutral ice, rushed the left wing and nimbly flipped a shot between Sinell's skates for an unassisted tying goal at 16:01.
Unfortunately for the Cardinals, Bachman snapped the 2-all tie only 5 minutes later off of Alison Plieseis' second assist of the day. Plieseis created a 2-on-1 situation after picking up the loose puck at mid-ice, rushed the right wing and slid a perfect centering pass to Bachman. Bachman faked low before flipping the puck over goalie Miranda O'Connor's shoulder for the go-ahead goal at the 11:09 mark.
Kleschult, who delivered a perfect centering pass to Bailey Wilmes for SPLSH's initial goal of the game, then delivered the visitors' insurance goal with 4:45 remaining in regulation. Kleschult sped down the middle of the ice before wristing the puck past O'Connor for a 4-2 lead.
Plieseis and Bachman combined for a double-assist on Chelsea Kaelberer's goal at the 7:07 juncture of the first frame to extend the Bulldogs' margin to 2-0.
Fairmont Area freshman Jalyssa Wilson and Nuss then sliced SPLSH's lead in half with only 21 seconds remaining in the opening period. Nuss weaved through traffic before speeding directly at Sinell. Nuss hammered a blast that Sinell deflected only to have Wilson smack home the rebound.
Fairmont Area (6-11, 0-5 SCC) closes out the regular season by playing host to Waseca on Tuesday night at Martin County Arena.
St. Peter/Le Sueur-Henderson (6-16, 2-4) plays host to Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato on Tuesday night in Le Sueur.
SPLSH - Bailey Wilmes (Maddie Kleschult), 14:10.
SPLSH - Chelsea Kaelberer (Alison Plieseis, Chloe Bachman), 7:07.
FA - Jalyssa Wilson (Taylor Nuss), 0:21.
FA - Taylor Nuss (unassisted), pp., 16:01.
SPLSH - Chloe Bachman (Alison Plieseis), 11:09.
SPLSH - Maddie Kleschult (unassisted), 4:45.
Shots on goal: St. Peter/Le Sueur-Henderson 8-5-9-22; Fairmont Area 13-27-12-52.
Saves: Miranda O'Connor (FA) 6-5-11-18; Veronica Sinell (SPLSH) 12-27-11-50.
Penalties: SPLSH 8 for 16 minutes; Fairmont Area 4 for 8 minutes.
Power-play chances: Fairmont Area 1 for 7; SPLSH 0 for 3.
Fairmont Area 6, Windom Area 0 (Friday) - Goaltender Sadie Sandersfeld posted the first shutout of her varsity career by making 12 saves to help engineer the Cardinals' 6-0 victory over the Eagles on Friday night in Windom.
Taylor Nuss staked Fairmont Area to an early 1-0 lead by netting an unassisted goal with 2:18 remaining in the opening frame.
The Cardinals then erupted for four second-period goals, including back-to-back lamp-lighters from Jenna Klages, to create a 5-0 edge prior to the final 17-minute segment.
Jalyssa Wilson delivered an unassisted goal at the 13:31 juncture of the middle segment before Klages cashed in a pass from Brooke Lemon for a 3-0 Fairmont Area lead with 5:02 left in the second period.
Klages chipped in an unassisted goal only 46 seconds later in the middle frame before Nuss fed Kelsy Junkermeier for a goal with only 52 seconds remaining in the second.
Katie Hohensee converted Logyn Cone's assist into the only goal of the third period at the 10:43 juncture.
The Cardinals outshot the Eagles, 42-12.
FA - Taylor Nuss (unassisted), 2:18.
FA - Jalyssa Wilson (unassisted), 13:31.
FA - Jenna Klages (Brooke Lemon), 5:02.
FA - Jenna Klages (unassisted), 4:16.
FA - Kelsy Junkermeier (Taylor Nuss), 0:52.
FA - Katie Hohensee (Logyn Cone), 10:43.
Saves: Sadie Sandersfeld (FA) 12.
Marshall 8, Fairmont Area 2 - Corey Clark, Derek Rasmussen and Beau Mikel each scored two goals and recorded one assist to lead the Tigers' boys hockey team to an 8-2 nonconference victory over the Cardinals on Saturday in Marshall.
Goals from Andrew Bell and Clark helped the Tigers jump out to a 2-0 lead after the opening period.
Bell netted the first goal of the game on an assist from Tyler Untiedt and Clark at 8:52, before Clark netted his first just one minute and 33 seconds later to take the two-goal lead.
The Tiger offense generated five goals on 17 shots to take a 7-1 lead in the second period.
Mikel and Rasmussen each scored twice along with teammate Walker Werpy in the second for the Tigers.
Mikel and Rasmussen traded a pair of goals in the opening 5 minutes of the period, before Werpy sent his shot into the net.
Fairmont Area's Greg Claeys ended the Tigers' shut out effort, netting the first Cardinal tally at 12:32 in the second period to make it 6-1.
Clark added his second score of the game just 1:24 into the third to make it 8-1.
Cardinal senior captain Grant Becker sent a Brock Johnson pass past the Tiger netminder for the second Fairmont Area goal right as the final buzzer sounded.
Colton Cunning stopped 42 of the 50 Marshall shots on goal, while Mason Campion stopped 11 of 12 the Cardinal shots on goal.
Fairmont Area (1-14-1, 1-3) hosts Redwood Valley in a 7:30 p.m. game on Friday in Fairmont.
M - Andrew Bell (Tyler Untiedt, Corey Clark), 8:52.
M - Corey Clark (Tyler Untiedt), 9:19.
M - Beau Mikel (Casper Larsen), 1:51.
M - Derek Rasmussen (Quinn Horvath), 4:05.
M - Walker Werpy (Taylor Rasmussen, Taylor Pickthorn), 5:56.
M - Beau Mikel (Quinn Horvath, Derek Rasmussen), 7:52.
FA - Greg Claeys (unassisted), 12:32.
M - Derek Rasmussen (Beau Mikel, Quinn Horvath), 14:38.
M - Corey Clark (Tyler Untiedt), 1:24.
FA - Grant Becker (Brock Johnson), 16:00.
Saves: Colton Cunning (FA) 42; Mason Campion (M) 11.
Shots on goal: Marshall 50; Fairmont Area 12.
Penalties: Fairmont Area 1 for 2 minutes; Marshall 1 for 2 minutes.
Power-play chances: Fairmont Area 0-1; Marshall 0-1.