Holtz's 3 short-handed goals lift Austin into girls hockey section title game; top seeds to meet in 1AA final

Austin and Albert Lea will meet for the Section 1A girls hockey championship, while Lakeville South and Northfield will play for the Section 1AA title.

Kate Holtz Austin High.jpg
Kate Holtz
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AUSTIN — Kate Holtz has come up big, time and time again for the Austin High girls hockey team during the regular season — and throughout her five-year career with the Packers.

So, as the Packers took some penalties during Saturday’s Section One, Class A semifinal game against Waseca at Riverside Arena, it was no surprise that Holtz came up big once — and twice, and three times — again in a clutch situation.

The standout senior — who recently committed to Northland College in Ashland, Wis., approximately 70 miles east of Duluth — not only scored four goals on Saturday, she scored three of them short-handed as Austin beat Waseca 5-1.

Holtz’s offensive outburst lifts the No. 2-seeded Packers (15-10-0) into Thursday’s 5 p.m. Section 1A championship game at Four Seasons Centre in Owatonna. The Packers will face top-seeded Albert Lea with a trip to the Class A state tournament on the line. Albert Lea defeated Winona 6-0 in Saturday's other semifinal.

Austin has been to state three times in program history, most recently in 2008 (the Packers also went in 2000 and 2007).


The Packers fell to rival Albert Lea twice during the regular season, losing 3-2 in Austin on Nov. 23, then falling 5-2 at Albert Lea on Jan. 20.

Saturday, Austin never trailed, but the game was tight through 34-plus minutes. The Packers led 1-0 after one period and 2-1 after two.

Holtz staked Austin to a permanent lead in the first period, scoring an even-strength goal 7:57 into the game, with an assist from Izzy Hemann.

Holtz scored the first of her short-handed goals 10:11 into the second for a 2-0 lead, but Waseca cut its deficit in half with 49 seconds to play in the second when Izabela Slectha scored.

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That was all the Bluejays (4-21-1) would get, though, against Packers goalie Kyia Radford-Garcia (19 saves).

Holtz broke a close game open in the third period, scoring her second short-handed goal 5:41 into the final period, then adding her third short-handed tally just 1:35 later to make it 4-1. Camille Dunlap added another insurance goal with 7:05 to go. Holtz had an assist on that goal, giving her a five-point game. She’ll enter the section final with 36 goals and 61 points.


Waseca 0-1-0 — 1


Austin 1-1-3 — 5

Waseca: Izabela Slectha 1 goal; Madalyn Benson 1 assist; Madelyn Malecha 1 assist.

Goalie: Illamay Draheim 27 saves (32 shots).

Austin: Kate Holtz 4 goals, 1 assist; Camille Dunlap 1 goal; Izzy Hemann 2 assists; Mikayah Rumsey 1 assist. Goalie: Kyia Radford-Garcia 19 saves (20 shots).

Section 1AA


NORTHFIELD — Sophomore Emerson Garlie recorded her fourth hat trick of the season Saturday night. Her three goals turned out to be the difference in Northfield’s 4-1 victory against rival Owatonna in a Section One, Class AA girls hockey semifinal game.

Tove Sorenson added a goal and two assists for the No. 2-seeded Raiders (18-5-3 overall), who will play at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Four Seasons Centre in Owatonna against top-seeded Lakeville South for the Section 1AA championship.

Samantha Bogen scored for Owatonna (16-9-2) and Ava Wolfe made 21 saves.



Owatonna 1-0-0 — 1

Northfield 0-2-2 — 4

Owatonna: Samantha Bogen 1 goal; Ezra Oien 1 assist; Abby Vetsch 1 assist. Goalie: Ava Wolfe 21 saves (25 shots).

Northfield: Emerson Garlie 3 goals; Ayla Puppe 1 assist; Grace McCoshen 2 assists; Tove Sorenson 1 goal, 2 assists; Cambria Monson 2 assists. Goalie: Maggie Malecha 18 saves (19 shots).

• • • • •


LAKEVILLE — Top-seeded and No. 6-ranked Lakeville South was pushed by its top rival, but the Cougars called on their star power to push them to a 6-4 victory against Lakeville North in a section semifinal game.

The Cougars (25-2-0) will face Northfield at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the Section 1AA championship game in Owatonna.

Minnesota State University, Mankato commit Taylor Otremba led the way Saturday with four goals, including an empty-net goal with 13 seconds to play to seal the win. University of Wisconsin commit Claire Enright scored once and senior leader Ryann Wright had a goal and two assists.


North 1-0-3 — 4

South 3-1-2 — 6

Lakeville North: Makayla Lee 1 goal; Gracie Hanson 1 goal; Meredith Jensen 1 assist; Kate Swierczek 1 assist; Bella Mayer 1 goal; Megan Olson 1 assist; Alexa Ruppert 1 goal. Goalie: Kaia Weiland 21 saves (26 shots).

Lakeville South: Brynn O’Neill 1 assist; Ryann Wright 1 goal, 2 assists; Taylor Otremba 4 goals; Claire Enright 1 goal. Goalie: Claire Bronson 16 saves (20 shots).

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