Who was going to grab the momentum?
In the third period of the girls' hockey game between the Brainerd Warriors and Fergus Falls Otters, it was clear the team that scored the next goal would have momentum on its side.
For nearly the first six minutes of the third, that team seemed to be the Otters as they outshot and outhustled Brainerd.
But Warriors defenseman Emily Dunphy changed all that as her shot from the point slipped between the legs of Fergus Falls goalie Katie Kantrud for a 3-1 lead.
Two more goals followed as the Warriors captured a 5-1 win over the Otters Friday at Brainerd Area Civic Center.
"Fergus came out in the third and really put pressure on us," Warriors coach Jim Ernster said. "We were really banking on the getting that next goal. That next goal was a deal breaker. If they got it then it's 2-2 and the momentum is on their side. We were fortunate to get that goal and it took the wind out their sails."
Warriors defenseman Erin Holznagel followed Dunphy's score with an unassisted goal at the 13:58 mark. Holznagel skated past three Otters defenders as if they were frozen in the ice and beat Kantrud with a backhand.
Warriors 5, Fergus Falls 1
Flurry: BHS scored three times in the final period to ice the Otters.
Next: at Alexandria, 5:15 p.m. Tuesday
In all, five different Brainerd players scored goals with Jenna Roberts, Emily Lorenz and Alyssa Lewandowski collecting the other three goals. That sharing of the puck is exactly the kind of offensive output Ernster likes to see.
"I absolutely believe that's a key to our success," Ernster said of different players scoring. "We don't want to be known as a team with one or two good players and if you shut them down you shut Brainerd down. We demand that our girls play within our system, move the puck and move their feet."
Earlier in the week, Holznagel was given good news. She was named one of 10 candidates for the Ms. Hockey award, which is given to the state's top female high school hockey player.
"Just being in the top ten is such a surprise," Holznagel said. "I don't know what's going to happen, there's a lot of talent in there. I have to thank coach Ernster for nominating me. It's such an honor, especially being from Northern Minnesota."
Holznagel was one of only two players from outside the Twin Cities to have made the top 10. And, as Ernster points out, Holznagel has shown good hockey is played outside the metro area.
"It's a tremendous credit to Erin and her family," Ernster said, "and the work they do in the offseason because that's where you get noticed for this type of an award. People become too accustomed to thinking there's only talent in the Twin Cities. This is a tremendous honor for Erin."
Fergus Falls 0 1 0 -- 1
Brainerd 1 1 3 -- 5
First period -- B-Jenna Roberts (Tara Moen) 4:54.
Second period -- B-Emily Lorenz (Chelsey Smith) 12:08, FF-Heather Briese (Sam Dowzak) 15:02.
Third period -- B-Emily Dunphy (Abby Rehberger) 5:42, B-Erin Holznagel 13:58 ppg, B-Alyssa Lewandowski (Rehberger, Megan Owens) 16:02.
Shots on goal -- B 9-7-6 -- 22, FF 7-5-14 --26.
Goalies -- B-Aimee Meyer (25 saves), FF-Katie Kantrud (17 saves).
Power-play opportunities -- FF 0-4, B 1-4.
Overall -- 11-11-1. Next game -- B at Alexandria 5:15 p.m. Tuesday.
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