VIRGINIA — The Eveleth-Gilbert Area girls’ hockey team took some big steps on Friday night, on their way to a 3-1 victory over International Falls at the Miners Memorial Arena in Virginia.
“This was a big game for the girls,” Golden Bears coach Earl Fitzgerald said. “They really stepped up their game tonight and it showed out there.”
Neither team could get anything going in the opening period with the teams combining for only six shots on goal.
The closest chance at a goal came with 5:00 to play in the period when the Bears hit the pipe.
“Both ways were slow in that opener,” Fitzgerald said. “We knew that we would have to come out in the second period and play our game.”
The Broncos came out quickly in the second period and put pressure on the Golden Bears in their zone and fired pucks at E-G netminder Rachel Woods.
The sophomore kicked out back-to-back shots to keep it a scoreless game.
“She stepped up and kicked out some big shots,” Fitzgerald said.
The Golden Bears then had to kill off some penalty time while the Broncos continued to try to get a puck past Woods.
E-G opened up the scoring while they were killing off a penalty when the Kylie Baranzelli stole the puck from the Broncos and gave Anna Seitz a perfect pass and she beat Macey Marcotte with a wrist shot to give E-G a 1-0 lead.
“Getting that short-handed goal was big for us,” Fitzgerald said. “That seemed to calm us down.”
The Golden Bears had the 1-0 lead with time running out in the period but a Grace Bragg shot from the International Falls point was tipped past Woods by Morgan Rasmussen with only 14 seconds remaining in the period.
The second period came to an end with the score knotted up at 1-1.
Both goalies turned away six each in the period.
The teams went up and down the rink in the third period with neither team getting great chances to score, until Baranzelli chased a loose puck deep in to the Broncos zone and beat the defender to the play and placed a perfect pass on to Flatley’s stick and she fired it in to the Broncos net to give the Golden Bears a 2-1 lead.
“There is no doubt that Kylie earned that goal,” Fitzgerald said. “She raced to the puck and then gave a perfect pass.”
With time running out in the game, the Broncos pulled Marcotte to get the extra skater, but it didn’t work out.
Flatley picked up a loose puck, gave Seitz a pass, and she fired it in to the empty net to end the game.
“I saw a lot of good things out there tonight,” Fitzgerald said. “We passed the puck weel, killed penalties, and really skated out there.”
Woods ended the game kicking out 14 shots on her way to picking up the victory in the net.
The Golden Bears will be back in action on Monday, at the Hippodrome in Eveleth, where they will host Duluth Marshall.
IF 0 1 0 — 1
EG 0 1 2 — 3
1, EG, Anna Seitz (Kylie Baranzelli, Jennie Krause) 10:36; 2, IF, Grace Bragg (Kaili Graves) 16:46.
3, EG Sophia Flatley (Baranzelli) SH, 12:42; 4, EG, Seitz, (Flatley) 16:38;
Saves: IF; Macey Marcotte 2-6-6—14; E-G Rachel Woods 4-6-4—14
Penalties-Minutes: IF 1-2; EG 4-8.