CROSBY — After struggling for much of the season, the Brainerd/Little Falls Flying Warriors had some fun Saturday afternoon.
Maddie Ellingson and Kristina Anderson each tallied five points and Sara Wennerstrand contributed four as the Flying Warriors cruised to an 8-0 shutout of the Lake of the Woods Bears for their second win of the season. The non-conference win snapped B/LF’s 13-game losing streak.
Originally scheduled and postponed Dec. 7, the game was moved to the Hallett Center due to a Brainerd Amateur Hockey Association tournament at Brainerd Area Civic Center and Gold Medal Arena.
“That was so much fun,” said Flying Warriors head coach Stephanie Sustercich. “We made some significant line changes because Karli Ring was unable to make this game. We put Fallon (Yates) in net and moved Sara (Wennerstrand) to forward on the first line and that resulted in a whole ‘nother line of chemistry that was great with Anderson and Ellingson.”
That first line accounted for six of the eight B/LF goals. Ellingson scored four goals and collected an assist. Anderson finished with a goal and four assists while Wennerstrand added a goal and three assists.
“Maddie was spot-on today and Sara gave 110 percent every shift. She skated her legs off,” said Sustercich.
The Flying Warriors could sense it was going to be their day when they built a 3-0 lead just 2:19 into the game.
By the end of the first period, they were up 5-0, had outshot the Bears 31-3 and Ellingson already had a hat trick.
Brooke Mimmack opened the scoring at 1:06 and Wennerstrand added a goal 47 seconds later. The next three scores went to Ellingson.
The Flying Warriors continued to keep play in the LOW end of the rink, compiling a 21-1 shots on goal advantage in the second stanza. Anderson found the back of the net at 8:15 with an assist from Ellingson. Twenty seconds later, Ellingson notched her fourth goal, assisted by Anderson and Lexi White.
The third period was played in running time. Mariah Lennander put in the final goal, assisted by Mimmack, with just 22 seconds left to play.
“The kids passed the puck so well today that they were able to make plays and provided scoring opportunities we haven’t seen all season,” said Sustercich.
The Flying Warriors so dominated play that they held Lake of the Woods to just seven shots, all of which Yates, a sophomore, was able to turn away.
At the other end of the rink, B/LF peppered LOW goalie Makenzie Davidson with 64 shots.
“Fallon had wanted one more chance to start in goal at the varsity level and it was nice that she was able to get the shutout,” Sustercich said.
Yates was also in goal when the 2-19-0 Flying Warriors defeated Lake of the Woods 8-3 Dec. 10 for their only other win of the season.
Lake of Woods 0 0 0 – 0
Brainerd/Little Falls 5 2 1 – 8
First period: BLF-Brooke Mimmack (Taylor Cadwell) 1:06; BLF-Sara Wennerstrand (Kristina Anderson) 1:53; Maddie Ellingson (Anderson, Wennerstrand) 2:19; BLF-Ellingson (Wennerstrand) 12:27; BLF-Ellingson (Wennerstrand, Anderson) 16:44
Second period: BLF-Anderson (Ellingson) 8:15; BLF-Ellingson (Anderson, Lexi White) 8:35
Third period: BLF-Mariah Lennander (Mimmack) 15:38
Shots on goal: BLF 31 21 12 – 64; LOW 3 1 3 – 7
Goalies: BLF-Fallon Yates (7 saves); LOW-Makenzie Davidson (56 saves)
Overall: BLF 2-19-0. Next: Brainerd/Little Falls vs. St. Francis at East Bethel 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.