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Fury punches ticket to state tournament

03/01/2020, 9:45am CST
By Luke Steurer, Head Coach Rock County Fury

Rock County defeat Warbirds 4-2 in sectional final

Rock County got three goals and five assists from the 'Hanson Sisters' on their way to a 4-2 win over the Warbirds Friday night on Fond du Lac Blue Line Ice Center's Rink B.

Seeded #1 in their sectional bracket, the Fury headed to #2 Fond du Lac Warbirds’ home ice for the Sectional Final game on February 28. The first period ended scoreless with the shots 8-4 in Fury’s favor.

Midway into the second period, the Warbirds were first to get on the scoresheet with a goal by Hattie Verstegen, assisted by Tori Schmidt.

The Fury was not discouraged. On a power play with 2:32 remaining in the period, Sara Nerad evened the score tipping in the puck on passes from Anika Einbeck and Haley Knauf to tie the game 1-1.

With only 21 seconds remaining in the period, Alyssa Knauf blocked a Warbird defenseman Emily Brown’s shot and outskated the Warbirds defense. Alyssa Knauf was able to break free of Tori Schmidt’s hold and shot the puck over the goalie’s shoulder for the go ahead goal to give the Fury a 2-1 lead.

Both teams brought the intensity in the third period. The Fury’s defense and offense worked together to score their second power play goal. Sara Loerke passed the puck to Haley Knauf who took a slaphot which rebounded and Anika Einbeck was there to put the puck into the net to give the Fury a 3-1 lead at the top of the third period.

The Warbirds responded with a goal from Hattie Verstegen, unassisted one minute later.

With 6:21 remaining the Fury scored their 4th and final goal. The 'Hanson Sisters' went to work. With multiple shots in a short amount of time Alyssa Knauf sniped the puck off her own rebound with Anika Einbeck and Haley Knauf earning assists. Haley earned a playmaker in the contest.

The Warbirds added an extra attacker for the last two game minutes, but the Fury stayed strong and kept the lead with strong defensive play.

Olivia Cronin was stellar in net once again for the Fury making 23 saves, with Hailee Scheier stopping 31 shots for the Warbirds. The Fury outshot the Warbirds 35-25.

The 4-2 victory made the Fury Sectional Champions and earned a place in the state tournament, which will be played at the Coliseum in Madison March 5 and 7. This is the Fury’s second Sectional Championship and state berth with the first in 2016.

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