Packers blanked in girls hockey opener

By Scott A. Kolb

Post-Bulletin, Austin MN

Failing to score a goal on their home ice led to a 3-0 loss for the Austin Packers girls hockey team in Saturday’s season opener.

The visiting Northfield Raiders and the Packers skated to a scoreless draw in the first period at Riverside Arena. The Raiders then scored in the opening minute of the second period and took the lead for good.

Another goal in the second period, and one final tally in the third period gave the Northfield girls a win over Austin. The Packers did have 28 shots on the day, but they couldn’t find the net in the loss.


"We had a lot of shots right into the chest of their goalie," Austin coach Denny Bray said. "Although we lost, it was a still a good game for the season opener. The girls kept skating hard through the third period, but we still have some work to do with our offense."

The Packers defense also looked a little sluggish in the opener. Austin goalie Audrey DeVries just finished the fall swimming season on Friday night and it was her first time in the net without the benefit of practicing with the defense.

DeVries made a series of nice saves on a flurry of shots by the Raiders in the closing minutes of the first period. The second period didn’t start so well for the Austin defense.

Maren Dvorak of Northfield scored the first of her two unassisted goals only 23 seconds into the second period. Dvorak then added another goal less than two minutes later, and the Raiders had all the offense they would need for the road win.

"We took control of the puck in the second period," Northfield coach Brent Bielenberg said. "They have a good defense, but the early goal in the second period gave us the momentum."

Despite their lack of offensive success, the Packers did have a few power play opportunities on the day. The home team went on its second power play in the initial minute of the final period.

Getting in only a few shots, the Packers advantage didn’t last long as Catherine Wagner was whistled for an infraction and went to the penalty box. This made it 4-on-4 for a time, then the Raiders had about a minute for a power play after their penalty expired.

This would result in the final goal of the game. Bree Freiermuth scored on the power play at four minutes into the third period and the Raiders would go on to record the shutout win.


"The Northfield girls were good at getting stick-on-stick against us and we were reaching a lot," Bray said. "Overall, I liked what I saw from our three lines and it’s just a matter of time before we get the offense going. This was only the first game and it’s a long season, so we have to get back to work in preparation for the Big Nine Conference opener."

Austin (0-1) travels to Bud King Ice Arena in Winona on Thursday night for the conference opener against the Winhawks.



Northfield 0 2 1 — 3

Austin 0 0 0 — 0


Scoring — Northfield, Maren Dvorak, :23. Northfield, Maren Dvorak, 15:07.



Scoring — Northfield, Bree Freiermuth (Maddie Carras), 3:58 (pp).

Shots on goal — Northfield 8-17-7—32; Austin 6-9-13—28.

Goalies — Northfield, Sm Stark (28 shots, 28 saves). Austin, Audrey DeVries (32 shots, 29 saves).

Penalties — Northfield 3-6; Austin 3-6.

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