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Austin girls stay unbeaten with road win

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HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS HOCKEY

WINONA — Bud King Arena is always a tough place for visiting teams to play as the Austin Packers found out in Tuesday night’s Big Nine Conference girls hockey opener.

Spurred by a boisterous crowd, the Winona Winhawks took an early 1-0 lead over the Packers with the first goal of the night midway through the first period. The Packers answered with two goals to close out the period and went on to a 5-1 win to stay perfect on the season.

"They played a tough defensive zone and came after us," Austin coach Denny Bray said. "It was a physical game with a lot of penalties. They also played us tough last year and it went to overtime in our game at home. They got the first goal, but we came right back after they scored and took the lead."

Taylor Jenkins got the scoring started for the Packers with a goal nearly 11 minutes into the first period and tied the game. Jenna Knutson then scored with just over two minutes left in the opening period and the Packers took the lead for good.

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The offense continued to roll for the Packers with a pair of goals in the opening minutes of the second period. The visitors took command of the conference contest with goals from Catherine Wagner and Kristin Faber. Wagner’s goal was on the power play as the Packers pulled away.

"After the first period, the girls rose to the challenge," Bray said. "We were kind of flat at the start, and didn’t forecheck as well as I wanted. We were back on our heels a lot and lost the puck on the defensive blue line. It took us the whole first period to get going."

Penalties caught up with the home team in the third period as the visitors scored another goal off the power play. Ashley Arhart scored her first varsity goal and the Packers got their first conference win of the season.

Austin goalie Amy Snyder gave up the game’s initial goal and then, slammed the door on the Winona offense. Snyder had 22 saves on the night and received the game puck from her teammates for the sterling effort in the net.

"We didn’t get a whole lot of quality shots, because they were playing the body pretty good defensively," Bray concluded. "Still, we got the job done on the road. It’s a tough place to play and there was a big crowd for both sides. This was a good test for our girls."

Austin (2-0) plays the St. Cloud Apollo Icebreakers at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Turkey Trot Tournament. The two-day event will be held at the Torrey Arena in the St. Cloud Municipal Athletic Center on Friday and Saturday.

AUSTIN 5, WINONA 1

SCORING BY PERIODS

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Austin 2 2 1 — 5

Waseca 1 0 0 — 1

FIRST PERIOD

Scoring— Winona, Autumn Hayes (Emily Nychgram), 8:50. Austin, Taylor Jenkins, 10:49. Austin, Jenna Knutson (Natalie Baudler), 14:44.

SECOND PERIOD

Scoring — Austin, Catherine Wagner (Jenkins), 4:12 (pp). Austin, Kristin Faber, 6:11.

THIRD PERIOD

Scoring — Austin, Ashley Arhart (Jenkins, Kylie Ellingson), 15:44 (pp).

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Shots on goal — Austin 6-9-6—21; Winona 8-9-6—23.

Goalies — Austin, Amy Snyder (23 shots, 22 saves). Winona, Molly Rader (15 shots, 11 saves); Sam Bronk (6 shots, 5 saves).

Penalties — Austin 6-12; Winona 8-16.

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