Sophomore Olivia and junior Anna Herzog traded goals through the first and second periods as Owatonna gradually pulled away from Mankato West Tuesday at All Seasons Arena in Mankato. Olivia won the race to a hat trick with a third period marker that put the game into running time. The Huskies improved to 3-0 with an 8-2 victory.

Olivia pounced on a loose puck about five minutes into the second period while Owatonna was on penalty kill. A pair of West players ran into each other near the Scarlet's blue line and Olivia grabbed the puck and skated in for the shorthanded-breakaway goal for her hat trick tally.

Chloe Schmidt started the scoring early in the first period (2:30) five seconds into a Huskies power play with an assist from Abby Vetsch. Olivia Herzog scored about a minute later with a helper from Molly Achterkirch. Anna Herzog scored on a rebound at 10:54 for a 3-0 OHS lead after the first period.

Olivia got her second goal early in the second period (1:29) with an assist from her big sister. Then Anna scored a short time later (4:07) with the assist to Calbey Podien for a 5-0 lead at second intermission.

After Olivia's hat trick goal, Ezra Oien scored another shorthanded breakaway goal for a 7-0 lead. Mankato West's Molly Grundhoffer scored back-to-back goals to briefly take the game out of running time. But Achterkirch got the clock rolling again with a goal late in the third (14:41).

Owatonna will host Mankato East (3-0) Saturday, November 23 at 7 pm at the Four Seasons Centre. It will be parents' and grandparents' night for the Huskies.

A top junior on defense for the Huskies is Grace Wolfe, who missed all of last season after injuring her knee in the season opener. "It's comeback season because of last year with the injury was a big setback. But now we're back and we're better."

Wolfe says the team is working well together, "I think this year we have a really good team chemistry. All the lines know exactly where each other is going to pass. That's one of the main things, but the other thing is we've never had this much drive in a team before." [Click below to hear the full interview.]

Owatonna junior Grace Wolfe

The next five games, all at home, will be a challenging stretch. After Mankato East on Saturday, the Huskies host perennial section powerhouse Dodge County Saturday, November 30. Lakeville South comes to town after that followed by Big Nine Conference games against Albert Lea and Faribault. The Falcons shutout Century Tuesday.

Also read: Owatonna senior Carson DeKam honored by the Minnesota Vikings.