Last-Second Save Preserves Huskies Hockey Victory
Hockey doesn't end in a buzzer-beater too often. Tuesday nearly did at Four Seasons Centre in Owatonna. Huskies senior Asia Buryska made a pair of saves with just moments remaining to preserve a 3-2 non-conference win for OHS over Hastings.
With time running out the Raiders burst into the Owatonna zone. Hastings top scorer Kaitlin Petrich put a shot on net from the left circle. Buryska made the save but the puck popped up in the air and she gave a quick glance over her left shoulder while trying to locate the puck. Buryska turned back in time to make a save on the rebound to give the Huskies the victory on Senior Night.
Owatonna junior Anna Herzog opened the scoring at 6:02 of the first period on a nice individual effort to walk around a couple of defenders and stuff the puck home on the power play for her 10th goal of the season.
With less than two minutes until intermission, eighth-grader Molly Achterkirch slammed in her eighth goal of the season on a rebound off a shot by Olivia Herzog.
Hastings halved the lead midway through the second period on Halle Schlintz first career goal with an assist from Petrich to make the score 2-1. Owatonna reestablished their two-goal lead on a breakaway goal by Olivia Herzog, her 17th marker of the season.
Early in the third Taylor Larson of the Raiders scored to pull Hastings within 3-2, which is how the game ended. Hastings had the shot-on-goal advantage 17-15. OHS went 1-for-3 on the power play and killed off their only penalty on Dudley Otto Rink.
Petrich, a junior, and Owatonna's Grace Wolfe, also a junior, seemed to have some one-on-one time. The Huskies are schedule to play at Hastings next season. Even though Hastings is a section opponent for the Owatonna boys, the Raiders are not in the Huskies section in girls hockey.
Buryska and Chloe Schmidt are the Huskies only seniors. Coach Tony Cloud commented in a flyer/program printed for the occasion, saying about Schmidt, "It has been a blast to watch you play over these past two seasons. Your speed and ability to create offense have been a driving force to our team's success. Having you as a leader has helped our team grow closer together."
Cloud, who is also on the soccer staff at Owatonna, commented of Buryska, "Even though hockey may not be your No.1 sport, you have always given us your best and helped our team continue to improve." Buryska will play Division II soccer at Bemidji State this coming fall.
Owatonna closes out their home regular season schedule Thursday, January 23 against Rochester John Marshall at 7 pm. The Huskies are tied with Northfield for the Big Nine Conference lead as of January 21. The teams square off January 30 in Northfield.
Note: The cover photo provided by Todd Walkingstick is of a save Buryska made in the second period on a great scoring chance for the Raiders.
Read also: Basketball results from Tuesday featured a career milestone in Blooming Prairie (click here for the story)