Gaby Turer’s hat trick helped the University School co-op girls’ hockey team to a 7-1 Eastern Shores Conference win over Arrowhead 7-1 on Tuesday, December 6th at the Mullett Center in Hartland.
Jake Haury, USM’s head coach commented on the win, “We could have played better, but we got a good win, and, after a tough start, we are back at .500. I was glad we could get all our players into the game tonight and give them a chance to compete. We keep improving, and we’ll move further forward.”
Hannah Gold, one of USM’s captains, agreed, “True. I think our play was good enough for a win, but not our personal best. We have so much more potential, but we didn’t show it.”
As Haury indicated, the Wildcats evened their overall record at 3-3 with the victory. The two teams were playing a conference game as well as beginning round-robin play in the Girls Hockey Classic Tournament that the Wildcats annually host. The tournament game was played at Arrowhead because it was a conference game and Arrowhead had the scheduled honors this year. The Wildcats didn’t mind, since they also evened their conference record at 1-1.
It took Turer only eight seconds to start her hat trick. She won the game’s opening faceoff by knocking the puck back to her line mate, Lexie Epperson. Epperson passed it to Hannah Neudorfer, who chipped it ahead to Turer who was heading into the Warhawks’ zone. Turer skated to the top of the right circle and fired. Her shot flew past Emily Nettesheim, Arrowhead’s goalie, at 0:08.
Haury said, “The coaches have been saying all season long, ‘shoot the puck.’ Gaby did that, and it gave us goal, which got us started the right way.”
The Warhawks scored their only goal at 4:58. Mary Kremer intercepted a poor D-to-D at the Wildcats’ blue line and skated into the Wildcats’ zone all alone. She deked Juliana Strother, the Wildcats’ starting goalie, and stuffed the puck inside the post to tie the game.
It was the Warhawks’ only shot at Strother, who had to leave the game after the first period to go on a school retreat. The Warhawks managed just 13 more shots. Marie Dedert stopped them all in her 34 minutes of goaltending.
The Arrowhead goal set the Wildcats’ back a bit, but they eventually recovered. They scored the game winning goal at 13:55 of the first period. Michaela Fritz collected a loose puck inside the Wildcat blue line as Turer leaped the boards on a change. Splitting through the Arrowhead defensemen, Turer called for the puck. Fritz coolly sent it to her like it was a holiday package of goodies. Gratefully, Turer zoomed into the Arrowhead zone, and as she approached Nettesheim she whipped a shot under the bar for the goal.
The Wildcats had regained the momentum; they soon made good use of it. Turer figured in the play once again. As she was about to get off the ice on a change, she whipped the puck deeper into the Arrowhead zone toward the crease. Megan McPike was nearby. She snagged the puck, pulled it past Nettesheim, and like Santa putting a gift under the tree, she tucked it into the net at 14:48.
The Wildcats added to their goal total at 10:47 of the second period. As the Wildcats forechecked in the Warhawks’ end, Karly Lamoreaux pulled the puck away from a defender and passed it to Fritz at the point. Fritz blazed a shot on net. The rebound came out to McPike, and she plastered it past Nettesheim.
Late in the second period the Wildcats increased their lead to four. Lamoreaux outbattled a defender for the puck along the left boards in the Warhawks’ zone. She nudged it to McPike who skated off the boards and spotted Abby Hentzen with her stick on the ice skating down the slot. McPike placed the pass on that stick. Hentzen kept skating; as she moved in, she shot the puck into the net at 12:23.
Turer completed her hat trick midway through the third period. She and Epperson worked a perfect give-and-go play out of the right corner. Turer fired from the slot, making the score 6-1 at 7:32.
The Wildcats completed their scoring just over a minute later. Lamoreaux skated the puck into the Arrowhead zone on the right, while Georgia Sisk moved in on the left. From the right circle Lamoreaux took a shot. The rebound caromed to Sisk who was cruising toward the net. Sisk one-timed a wrist shot past Nettesheim for the goal at 8:50.
The Wildcats continue play in the tournament when they take on Waupaca in a non-conference game scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 9th at USM.