Andover established itself at the top of the Northwest Suburban Conference standings following a 2-0 win at Maple Grove Jan. 8. Andover’s Krista Flanagan scored twice on the power play in the first period as the Huskies rode the lead to its 12th win of the season.
Huskies goalie Maddie Rooney posted 22 saves for her fourth shutout of the season.
Huskies coach Ben Monahan said the win was a good test against a hard-working Crimson team that knows how to use its larger Olympic-sized rink to its advantage.
Huskies win Blaine rematch
Tenth-ranked Andover (12-4-1, 10-1-0) picked up its fourth win in six games as they started the new year with a 3-2 win over No. 17 Blaine (11-7-0, 7-4-0) Jan. 5 in a rematch of the Bengals 2-1 overtime win Nov. 17.
The payback game came at Andover Community Center and Andover came out strong after 18 days since its last game (a 1-1 tie against No. 15 North Wright County) to build a 3-0 lead less than two minutes into the second period.
Monahan wasn’t concerned from the extended time away from competition. Instead the team held intra-squad games to keep up its competitive edge during the holiday break.
“We had a lot of intense practices and small-sided games,” he said. “We tried to build the intensity into the new year.”
That intensity had to come out right away against a rival in Blaine. “I actually like that we played Blaine out of the break because of intensity of those games against rivals like Blaine or Anoka. We don’t have to do much motivation to get them ready.”
Five different Andover skaters figured into the goals scored by Michelle Holmes, Paige Dale and Sierra Langlie. Huskies leading scorer Mikayla Goodin picked up her 29th point of the season on Langlie’s first-period power play goal.
Despite a furious comeback attempt in the third period, Blaine’s hopes of a win fell short as Amy Schlagel and Katie Swanstrom scored 1:29 apart less than 7:30 into the final period. Blaine outshot Andover 12-6 in the period but was still outshot 26-19 in the game.
Blaine leading scorer Kiersten Falck assisted on each of the goals to raise her season-total to 29 assists and 45 points.
Rooney and Blaine’s Courtney Jensrud each made 17 saves. Rooney earned the win while her modest goals against average raised to 1.61.
Andover maintained its conference lead with a 9-1-0 record while Blaine fell into a three-way tie with Robbinsdale Armstrong/Cooper and Champlin Park with matching 7-4-0 records ahead of the Jan. 8 games. Blaine faced Elk River at Fogerty Arena.
Panthers overwhelm St. Francis
Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony improved to 2-4-1 in the North Suburban Conference, 4-12-1 overall while St. Francis/North Branch remains one of two winless teams (St. Louis Park is 0-5-1) in the conference (0-4-1, 3-11-1) after a 7-1 win for the Panthers at Fogerty Arena Jan. 8. Panther’s Kim Patterson scored twice in the first period while Miranda DeBoer and Caitlin Monson each had four points. DeBoer scored twice in the third period and nine different players figured in the scoring.
St. Francis’ Katie Sigfrinius scored the lone goal in the first period.
The two clubs face each other at East Bethel Jan. 12 in the rematch.
Tornadoes faced gauntlet
Anoka opened play in the Eden Prairie holiday tournament with a 3-2 overtime win over No. 19-ranked Eagan Dec. 27.
Leave it to the Tornadoes leading scorer Emilie Brigham to bring the team back as she scored four minutes apart late in the third period to erase Eagan’s 2-0 lead to force overtime before Blair Parent scored 14 seconds into the extra session for the win.
Brigham collected her 16th and 17th goals of the season with the first on the power play and the second came shorthanded with the assist from Parent.
Since then the Tornadoes lost three straight games include the remaining two tournament games against very formitable opponents – No. 3 Eden Prairie and top-ranked Benilde-St. Margaret’s 4-1 and 6-0, respectively.
Parent tied the game against Eden Prairie with a goal in the final minute of the second period. The Eagles regained the lead 40 seconds later and scored two more times to lead 4-1 by the 4:28 mark of the final period.
Tornadoes goalie Molly Scarborough made 45 saves in the loss and followed with 35 saves against Benilde-St. Margaret’s.
Anoka opened 2013 with a 3-2 loss at Champlin Park Jan. 5. The Northwest Suburban Conference loss dropped the Tornadoes to 5-5-1, sixth place in the conference standings before Tuesday’s conference contest against Centennial.
After going down 3-0 after two periods, Anoka scored twice in the final period to pull within one goal of the lead. Brigham scored her 18th goal of the season at the 3:54 mark of the period and Amanda Kimmerle made it 3-2 with 1:03 left in regulation.