The one thing the Brainerd Warriors girls' hockey team didn't want to do was lose and break a four-game unbeaten streak. The other was tie the Lake of the Woods Warriors Monday in the Brainerd Holiday Classic.
Brainerd's last two games resulted in 2-2 ties and it looked like another tie was inevitable at the Brainerd Area Civic Center. But seven minutes after Chelsey Smith tied the score 1-1 in the third period, Macala Campbell put Brainerd ahead with a break-away goal at the 14:08 mark.
"I just took it wide and there was no one on me so I just took it to the net," said Campbell. "I shot it but I didn't think it was really going to go in.
"I was aiming for the low stick side."
Aani Rangen added the final score with 21 seconds left in the game.
Warriors 3, Lake of the Woods 1
The key: Brainerd (5-7-2 overall) outshot LOTW 21-17 and capitalized on three of those in the third period.
Next: Shakopee vs. Lake of the Woods, 2 p.m. Tuesday; Brainerd vs. Shakopee, 2 p.m. Wednesday at Brainerd Area Civic Center
Six different girls recorded points for Brainerd, which is 3-0-2 in its last five games and 5-7-2 overall.
"We talked to the girls about making better decisions when we have the puck," said Warriors coach Jim Ernster. "We talked about capitalizing on 2 on 1 advantages and also when girls get into the slot area making sure they get their heads up and look where they're shooting.
"We tend to try to make too many plays and over pass."
Brainerd outshot Lake of the Woods 21-17, including a 6-1 advantage in the first period.
"That's a result of these line combinations that we've had playing for about three weeks now," said Ernster.
"The more lines play together, the more they're going to communicate and know where their left wing is or their center is in certain situations."
Other than an Amy Hasbargern break-away goal early in the third period, Brainerd goalie Val Benjamin stymied the Warriors and collected 16 saves.
Junior forward Chelsey Smith deflected Melissa Hanson's shot in front of Warriors goalie Jackie Sorrels at 7:08 of the third for a 1-1 score.
"I was more concerned after they went up 1-0 that they would go up 2-0," said Ernster. "I was proud of the team for battling back and tying the game."
Lake of the Woods 0 0 1 -- 1
Brainerd 0 0 3 -- 3
Third period -- 1, LOW-Amy Hasbargen 4:20; 2, B-Chelsey Smith (Melissa Hanson) 7:09; 3, B-Macala Campbell (Hilary Smith) 14:08; 4, B-Aani Rangen (Tara Moen) 16:39
Shots on goal -- B 6 6 9 -- 21; LOW 1 5 11 -- 17
Goalies -- B Val Benjamin (16 saves) ; LOW Jackie Sorrels (18 saves)
JEREMY MILLSOP can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.
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