Red Wing wary of 'trap game'

RED WING — When the Wingers take the ice Thursday night against New Prague for the Section One, Class A championship, Red Wing will be seeking its third trip to state in the last four years against a foe it has dominated this season.

The top-seeded Wingers, who were the only team in the section with a winning record, have thumped the Trojans twice this season by a combined scored of 19-7, including a 9-4 road win Feb. 2 in the Missota Conference finale.

Despite that disparity, Wingers coach Scott Haley will approach this game with a wary confidence.

"This has the makings of a trap game," Haley said. "Can't take them lightly. This is our fourth section finals in a row … but the main thing for us is (making sure) that experience pays some dividends."

Though none of Red Wing's top four skaters — who all finished in the top 10 in points in the Missota — is a senior, they have been through the fire before. Sophomore standout Nicole Schammel is eighth in the state with 69 points, and is coming off a six-goal game against Waseca in the section semifinals.


The coach's daughters have been nearly as prolific. Freshman Reagan Haley is third in the state with 41 assists, seven of which have come in the last two games. Junior Paige Haley has 30 goals and 33 assists from her spot on defense; the University of Minnesota recruit has dominated the two previous match ups with New Prague while totaling 10 points.

Red Wing sophomore Emily Stegora has also had a solid year, totaling 36 points thus far.

That offensive firepower has led to a mindset that coach Haley equates to the wide-open style of the NHL about 25 years ago. Red Wing averages 5.5 goals per game, but allows 3.2.

The Wingers have buckled down in the last three games though, allowing just six goals. Senior goalie Lisa Nibbe has faced the 14th-most shots in the state while posting a .893 save percentage.

"I think our goaltending has been a little bit better these last three games and our defense definitely got better," coach Haley said. "It's been a point of emphasis."

New Prague is led by Brittany Sticha, who has posted 22 goals and 19 assists while leading the Trojans to a 12-13-2 record.

Thursday's winner will play its opening-round game at state Feb. 22 at Xcel Energy Center.

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