FAIRMONT — The Fairmont Area Cardinals girls hockey team had its hands full with the Waseca Bluejays at Martin County Area on Tuesday night.
The Cardinals fell behind early in the first period and couldn’t claw their way back into the game, falling to the Bluejays by a 7-0 decision during Big South Conference action.
Waseca goaltender Illamay Draheim made 26 saves to earn the shutout.
Bluejay freshman forward Maizee Storey stole the show, scoring the first goal of the game unassisted just after five minutes into regulation. Storey would go on to leave her fingerprints all over the ice.
Later in the first period, the Bluejays found the back of the net again. This time it was senior forward Emma Keith following an assist from freshman defender Mckenna Mortensen with 4:34 remaining in the opening period.
Then to add to her early tally, Storey scored yet again off an assist by junior defender Katlyn Schueler to give the Bluejays a 3-0 lead entering the second period.
Following the early barrage of goals, Fairmont Area head coach Eric Householder knew some changes needed to be made.
“After the first period coming out of the locker room I wanted us to go out there and take away the space, take away their space and be more aggressive,” Householder said. “We saw it for a little bit there when we were attacking, but we just didn’t have the edge tonight that we needed.”
The Bluejays, on the other hand, had the edge and knew they needed to press their advantage.
As both conference teams got into the flow of the game during the second period, it was the Bluejays who were able to break through first.
With 7:23 remaining in the second, senior forward Izabela Slechta scored following a great feed from Storey.
Five minutes later, it was Keith again off an assist from sophomore defender Madalyn Benson for her second goal of the game.
This was not the last goal of the second period though as with 48 seconds remaining Benson scored a goal of her own off a feed from sophomore defender Kaylee Lawson to push Waseca’s lead to 6-0.
On the other side, Cardinal goalkeeper Ilana Moeller was doing her best to defend against the Bluejays attack. The junior recorded 40 saves on the night from inside the net.
The third period was less one-sided as both teams seemed to trade possession of the puck.
With 13 minutes remaining in the game, Storey zipped up the ice and hit the dagger, completing her hat trick for the game.
For the Cardinals, they’ll be heading back to the drawing board as the team gets the rest of the week off from games and will look to make necessary changes in practice.
“We are definitely going to change our practice structure a little bit for the next week, we play again next Tuesday and I have a couple of things I want to work on from this game alone, so you will definitely see some new lines,” Householder said. “Strategically, we just really have to attack our offensive zone, but we really need to start capitalizing on rebounds in our offensive zone because right now we are having some good drives we just don’t have that trailer coming down for the rebounds on those misses.”
Fairmont Area (0-2) takes the ice again in another Big South game next Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. for its first road matchup against Luverne at the Blue Mound Ice Arena.
Waseca 3 3 1 — 7
Fairmont 0 0 0 — 0
WA–Maizee Storey goal (unassisted).
WA–Emma Keith goal, (assisted by Mckenna Mortensen) PP.
WA–Maizee Storey goal (assisted by Katlyn Schueler) PP.
WA–Izabela Slechta goal (assisted by Maizee Storey).
WA–Emma Keith goal (assisted by Madalyn Benson).
WA–Madalyn Benson goal (assisted by Kaylee Lawson).
WA–Maizee Storey goal (unassisted).
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