By Shane Frederick
The Free Press
The Mankato East/Loyola girls hockey team clinched the Big Nine Conference championship on Tuesday, coming from behind to defeat Rochester John Marshall 5-4 at All Seasons Arena.
The Cougars scored three third-period goals, including two by Katy Snyder, for the win. It was their third third-period comeback in as many games.
“It’s a big deal for our team,” coach Nate Fuller said of the conference title. “But we’ve got more goals this season that we want to achieve, that’s for sure.”
East/Loyola trailed 2-0 after one period and 3-2 after two, getting a pair of second-period goals from Maddie McCargar.
The Cougars scored three consecutive goals in the third. They went up 4-3 on Mariah Kragh’s goal at 10:36, and a Snyder empty-netter ended up as the game-winner after the Rockets scored the game’s final goal.
Kragh finished with a goal and an assist. Amanda Broman, Ali Schreiber and Rebekah Kolstad each assisted on two goals.
“I’m proud of how hard the girls worked,” Fuller said. “They worked their tails off. They always work hard.”
Goaltender Katie Paulson stopped 15 of 19 shots for the win. The Cougars had 27 shots on goal.
East/Loyola (18-5-0) will play again Thursday when it hosts Albert Lea and will close the season Saturday at Rochester Mayo. Seedings for the Section 2A tournament are due out Friday.
West girls 2, Albert Lea 1: Mankato West’s Bre Black scored the game winning goal with 2:13 left in a Big Nine girls hockey win Tuesday at Albert Lea.
Callie Looft had a goal and an assist for the Scarlets.
Maggie Cusey made 31 saves in the Scarlet win.
Waseca girls 8, Fairmont 1: Taryn Juberien scored a hat trick and had one assist to lead the Bluejays to the South Central Conference win at Fairmont.
Maddy Knoll scored two goals with one assist and Alisha Knoll added one goal and two assists. Katelyn Miller and Brittany Miller each had one goal and one assist.
Taylor Juberien got the win in net with five saves. Waseca put 36 shots on the Fairmont goal.
LDC girls 7, SPLSHTCU 2: Veronica Sinell made 37 saves for St. Peter/Le Sueur-Henderson/Tri-City United in a nonconference loss to Litchfield-Dassel-Cokato Tuesday at Le Sueur.
Ali Plieseis and Maddie Kleschult each scored goals for the Bulldogs. Chloe Bachman had an assist.
The Dragon’s Kennedy Sommerfeld had two goals and an assist and Teegan Wyffels scored two goals.
Danielle Elam made 12 saves for the Dragons.