Girls hockey: River Lakes Stars come up short against Fergus Falls
Otters win Section 6A championship to advance to Class A state tournament.
ALEXANDRIA — Maggie Greenagel went coast-to-coast and fired a back-hand shot into the back of the net to propel Fergus Falls over River Lakes on Thursday at Runestone Community Center.
The goal advances the Otters into the Class A state tournament.
Greenagel’s game-winning tally notched a 2-1 overtime win for the Otters in the Section 6A championship. The goal marked the second goal of the season for the eighth-grade defenseman.
“It went exactly how I would expect. (Kaydence) Roeske — it’s unbelievable how good she was tonight,” Fergus Falls head coach Tim Lill said. “We could have scored eight goals and I still could say she had a great night. We just couldn’t get one past her. But credit to our team for sticking with it.”
Roeske, a sophomore goaltender, showed up from start-to-finish and made 43 saves for River Lakes as Fergus Falls out-shot the Stars 45-14.
“The biggest difference for a goalie is making the second save,” River Lakes head coach Andrew Marod said. “She was making the second one over and over and over and sometimes she made a third and then a fourth. That’s exactly who she is — when adversity comes — she responds in a positive way.
“Our girls played their hearts out. Kaydence is our foundation, we build around her. But at the same time, it’s not just Kaydence. … Unfortunately, we didn’t get a bounce in overtime.”
River Lakes went 3-for-3 on the penalty kill, killing off three penalties in the third period, and 1-for-2 on the power-play.
The Stars earned their first power-play late in the second period. The Stars made quick work as sophomore Sophia Hess fed a pass from the half wall and freshman Abby Storms re-directed the puck into the back of the net.
Storms' ninth goal of the season made it a 1-1 game at 12:37 of the second period.
“Our special teams have been huge for us all year long,” Marod said. “We have spent a lot of time in practice working on those types of situations and capitalizing on the opportunities that we’re given.”
Fergus Falls senior captain Maddie Hulter broke open the game as she picked up the loose change in front to give the Otters a 1-0 lead at 3:18 of the second period. The tally marked Hulter’s 29th goal of the season. She has 61 points in 26 games.
River Lakes finishes its 2022-23 campaign with a 10-17-1 record.
“We never gave up. Obviously, we didn’t come out on top tonight, but in my mind we are champions. We had success this whole year,” Marod said. “I am so proud of the girls for all the hardships they’ve overcome.
“We are not going anywhere. The best part is — even with a co-op — this group is very tight-knit,” Marod said. “I’m very pumped for the future and very excited for what’s coming for us.”
Fergus Falls is back in the state tournament for the first time since 2019. The Class A state tournament begins Wednesday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Fergus Falls 2, River Lakes 1 OT
Fergus Falls (22-4-1) 0 1 0 1 — 2
River Lakes (10-17-1) 0 1 0 0 — 1
FIRST PERIOD – No scoring.
SECOND PERIOD – (1) FF: Maddie Hulter (Hannah Johnson, Maddie Brimhall), 3:18 … (2) RL: Abby Storms (Sophia Hess), 12:37 PP.
THIRD PERIOD – No scoring.
OVERTIME – (3) FF: Maggie Greenagel (Ana Jyrkas), 3:09.
GOALIE SAVES/SHOTS – Fergus Falls: Ana Jyrkas 13/14 … River Lakes: Kaydence Roeske 43/45