The University School co-op girls’ hockey team defeated Arrowhead 2-0 in an Eastern Shores Conference game on Tuesday December 5th at USM
The Wildcats dominated the game, but they met a staunch goalie in Arrowhead’s Emily Nettesheim. The senior netminder turned aside 49 shots and kept the game close throughout. Her counterpart at the other end of the ice, senior Juliana Strother, had a much easier time of it, making 13 total saves to earn the shutout.
“Their goalie was outstanding,” said Ally Strickler, a USM coach. “We needed to exploit our opportunities better.”
The Wildcats outshot the Warhawks 15-0 in the first period and were able to exploit one of their scoring opportunities in the period. Senior defenseman Hannah Gold collected the puck in the right corner of the Wildcats’ zone and headed behind the net. She did a quick power turn to avoid a forechecker and sped out from behind the net. As she headed up ice, Gold gathered speed the way an ambitious banker gathers money. She wove through the entire Arrowhead defense, crossing into the Warhawks’ zone on the left side. From the circle, she bulleted a shot over Nettesheim’s glove into the far upper corner of the net at 10:20.
The Wildcats pressured the Arrowhead forces even more in the second period, during which they outshot their visitors 23-5. But only one of those shots made it past the stalwart Nettesheim.
As the Wildcats forechecked aggressively, the puck came to junior Lexie Epperson in the slot. Epperson fired. Nettesheim made the save, and the puck caromed behind the net. Epperson swung to left to go after it. The puck bounced off the back boards and skipped to Epperson’s line mate, senior Abby Hentzen, near the goal line to the right of the net. Hentzen attempted to pass it out front, but the puck hit a defenseman’s skate and bounced back behind. On her course around the net, Epperson got it again. Like she was leaving some spilled garlic on the floor, Epperson dashed away, out into the right circle. She spun toward the net. As she turned, she saw senior Megan McPike parked in the slot and slid the puck to her. McPike one-timed a shot along the ice, surprising Nettesheim as it moved across the goal line at 8:28.
Nettesheim continued to shine in the third period making 16 more saves. The Wildcats’ defense stayed just as tough, however, and Arrowhead managed only 8 shots in the frame allowing the Wildcats to secure the victory.
Arrowhead is now 2-4 and 1-1 in the Eastern Shores Conference. The Warhawks take on Brookfield in a non-conference game in the first round of the Girls Hockey Classic Tournament at USM at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 7th.
USM is 5-1 and 2-0 in the Eastern Shores Conference. In the second game of the same tournament, the Wildcats play Northland Pines in a non-conference game at 7:00 pm. on Friday, December 7th at USM.