Northfield’s Special Teams Doom Owatonna
There weren't an abundance of penalties in Wednesday's Section 1AA playoff game between Owatonna and Northfield, but the ones that were left their impact on the game. The Raiders scored two shorthanded goals and added a power play tally in their 4-2 win over the Huskies at Northfield Ice Arena.
With Northfield down a skater due to the first penalty of the game, the Raiders Payton Fox scored the first of her three goals midway through the first period. Fox was converted from defense to forward for this game. Jessica Boland assisted on all three Fox goals.
The Huskies evened the game at 1-1 with just under two minutes left before intermission. Samantha Bogen scored her ninth goal of the season with an assist from Olivia Herzog who made a great move to carry the puck into the Raiders zone.
Northfield went on the power play in the final minute of the first and scored with 21 seconds to go, Fox's second goal. OHS senior netminder Asia Buryska turned aside 12 of the 14 shots she faced in the first.
The Huskies went on their second power play halfway through the second period, but the Raiders converted their second shorthanded goal as Fox completed her hat trick at 8:03 of the period. Northfield took that 3-1 lead into the third period.
Lily Hunst scored her third goal of the season on a long drive 12:37 into the third period with an assist from Abby Vetsch to pull OHS within 3-2. Northfield took their timeout and added an even strength goal about a minute later for the 4-2 final.
Sophomore goalie Maggie Malecha had another stellar night in goal, just as she did in the Huskies 2-1 overtime win a week earlier that allowed Owatonna to share the Big Nine title with Northfield. Buryska and Chloe Schmidt were Owatonna's only seniors. The Huskies end their season 17-7-1. Northfield (16-9) goes to Lakeville South (20-5-1) Saturday for the semifinals. The winner advances to Four Seasons in Owatonna for the 1AA championship on Thursday, February 13 at 5 pm.
Dodge County won their 1AA quarterfinal 6-0 over John Marshall. Sky Hughes had her seventh shutout of the season. Malia Schubert and Navaeh Trihey each scored twice. Kayla Schubert had four assists. The Wildcats (14-11-1) travel to defending section champ Farmington (16-10) Saturday for the semifinals.