Girls hockey standings turned upside down

IRONDALE DEFEATS TOTINO-GRACE IN THRILLER TO TAKE NORTH SUBURBAN CONFERENCE LEAD

By RYAN SCHLEICHER – Sun FOCUS Newspapers

Anna Pate gets into position to make a save and uphold her 92 percent save rate this season. (Photo courtesy Annikka Strong)

Anna Pate gets into position to make a save and uphold her 92 percent save rate this season. (Photo courtesy Annikka Strong)

How one week can change everything. A week ago, two top 20 teams in their respective classes in girls hockey sat in first and second place respectively.

Fast-forward a week later and that top spot in the North Suburban Conference is occupied by a team not even ranked top 20 in the state.

A huge 2-1 overtime win on Saturday night propelled the Irondale Knights into first place in the North Suburban Conference. Fans who piled into the Parade Ice Arena in Minneapolis were treated to an instant classic as this game kept fans on the edge of their seats throughout all 51-minutes of hockey — and then some.

Totino-Grace came out and looked as though there were going to have Irondale’s number when Abby Huber scored the games first goal less than two minutes into the contest. But not be undone, Irondale star Forward Samantha Donovan countered for Irondale by scoring her 22nd goal of the season which drew it all even within the first six minutes of the first period.

Just when it appeared as though scoring was going to come at a high rate; both teams settled down and did not allow another goal through the remainder of regulation.

Both teams killed off two penalties to keep the game even at one apiece. Totino-Grace’s Claire Hill (interference) and Kristin Dellich (roughing) were both given two-minute minors along with Irondale’s Lindsay Kueng (roughing) and Greta Nundahl (tripping). Logan Knip kept Totino-Grace in it and in the process continued her successful 2012-13 season by stopping the Knights 35 times. The Knights dominated the Eagles in shots on goal, out shooting them 37-11.

In the overtime period, Irondale quickly became shorthanded as Madeline Rog got called for tripping. As the pendulum started to swing back toward Totino-Grace, Laura Minkoff got called for tripping and both teams were forced to play 4-on-4 hockey. Impressively, each team fended off the other until both got back to full strength.

And then, at the 7:34 mark in the overtime period and with only 26 seconds left in the game, Dellich got tagged with her second penalty of the for body checking that left the Eagles shorthanded to finish. With not much time remaining and emotions running high, Irondale grabbed control of the puck and with one second remaining Sena Hanson was able to get it passed Knip to give Irondale a 2-1 victory in a very memorable game.

Irondale plays St. Louis Park Friday night, Jan. 25, at the St. Louis Park Rec Center. Totino-Grace next plays Saturday, Jan. 26, hosting Spring Lake Park at Fogerty Arena.

 

Contact Ryan Schleicher at ryan.schleicher@ecm-inc.com 

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