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Huskies get their revenge in section opener

Zoie Roush, owatonna hockey, girls, mankato
Owatonna senior forward Zoie Roush fires a shot on net during the second period of the Huskies’ opening round game against Mankato East. Roush scored the game winning goal for Owatonna 1:06 into the second period. Staff photo by Johnnie Phillips
Johnnie Phillips, Sports Editor

Just six days after dropping a 4-2 road game to Mankato East, the No. 5 Owatonna Huskies got their revenge tonight by returning to Mankato’s All Seasons Arena and beating the No. 4 Cougars 3-0 in the opening round of the Section 1AA tournament.

A quiet first period saw both teams hit the locker rooms gridlocked at 0-0, but it was the Huskies who pulled away in the second period by scoring all three goals in the game.

“We had film sessions, watched what their tendencies were and adjusted our forecheck and a couple other things we do defensively to allow us to force turnovers and capitalize on transitions,” said Owatonna head coach Tony Cloud on the keys to his team’s winning performance.

Kicking off the scoring just 1:06 into the second period was senior forward Zoie Roush, who gathered a loose puck in front of the net and spun around for a nifty 180-degree finish.

Assisting Roush on the opener was sophomore defenseman Paige Thompson.

Owatonna wouldn’t wait long to extend its lead as the Huskies potted another goal just 2:39 later.

Another rebound in front of the net was swarmed by three Huskies and tucked away by junior forward Alia Kubicek.

Kubicek’s goal was scored on the powerplay and assisted by Molly Achterkirch and Kendra Bogen to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead.

Rounding out the game’s scoring with 5:19 remaining in the second was freshman forward Grace Mitchell.

The freshman phenom continued the Huskies’ trend of dominance in front of the Cougar’s net by scoring on a third rebounded puck and dashing Mankato East’s hopes.

Mitchell’s dagger was assisted by Kubicek and Claire Dixon.

Making her mark in just her second playoff start was Owatonna goaltender Leah Spencer, who notched a huge shutout to punctuate the Huskies’ win.

“I was just trying to stay focused. I was focusing on my breathing because I didn’t want to get too jumpy,” said Kubicek with a laugh about her thoughts in net during the game.

With the win, No. 4 Owatonna will advance to play No. 1 Northfield on Saturday, Feb. 10.

Opening faceoff at the Northfield Ice Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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