Nay-sayers who insist girls' hockey isn't a physical sport should have watched Wadena-Deer Creek and Brainerd beat on each other Tuesday night.
"This was more physical of a game than I'm used to," said Hannah Impola, who scored her second goal of the season to win the game 2-1 for the Warriors. "We're a fast team. Our goal is to always try and win the race to the puck. If we can get to the puck first it's easier to score."
Elbows were flying and sticks were slashing as the teams faced off for the second time this season. The last time they played Brainerd won 5-0 but the Wolverines decided to come out hitting Tuesday night.
"A lot of teams have been using their bodies and playing us physical," Warriors head coach Chuck Whalen said. "We didn't expect any less from Wadena."
"They had a few players that kind of get in your head and are mouthy," Warrior defender Hilary MacIver said. "We have a pretty small team but we could handle them."
The Warriors' strength is their speed. Brainerd was constantly beating W-DC to the puck.
"We're learning where the puck is going to be so we have that quick advantage," said MacIver. "We see the puck more and we're spreading out more, but we didn't really do that in the second period tonight."
"We've heard that from a number of coaches after we've played," said Whalen. "They've said that they don't remember us being this quick last year. Tonight, Wadena just took it too us, especially in the second period."
Important matchup Thursday
The Warriors host St. Cloud Apollo/Cathedral on Thursday. The Icebreakers are 6-0 in the Central Lakes Conference, 11-4 overall. The first time these teams met Apollo beat the Warriors 9-1.
"In order to beat Apollo we have to have everything almost perfect," said MacIver. "We have to make sure we keep the puck down at their end once we get it down there.
"They have a lot of great players, but so do we. We just have to make sure we're confident and play up to our ability. I think everyone is playing well."
"We have to shut down their scoring," said Whalen. "They have two girls that got hat tricks against us. We have to shut that down .
"The biggest thing we have to do is believe that we can beat them. I don't know if our girls are there yet. We've had a good run. We've picked up a lot of wins. You would think that our team is ready to give them a good shot."
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