The Austin Packers girls hockey team traveled to Fairmont-Martin County Arena in Fairmont Thursday evening to take on the Cardinals in a non-conference matchup, and an even-strength goal in the third period from the Cardinals’ Hannah Goerndt proved to be the game winner in a 5-4 victory for the Cardinals.
The game Thursday evening was a back-and-forth contest that saw Fairmont take a 1-0 lead on a goal from Brooklyn Murphy at 2:22 of the first period, but Austin came back with an unassisted goal from senior forward/defenseman Sara Wangen at 9:42 for a 1-1 tie at the end of one period. A power play goal from junior defenseman Peyton Squire at 3:12 of the second period, with an assist to Wangen gave the Packers their first lead of the game at 2-1, but a goal from Fairmont’s Isabella Larson at 4:07 of the period knotted the game at two apiece. Squire tallied again at 6:42, with another assist to Wangen to put Austin back in the lead at 3-2, but Larson’s second of the game for the Cardinals at 11:08 of the period tied things up at 3-3 heading into the third period.
Fairmont’s Karissa Newville put the Cardinals into the lead at 4-3 with an even-strength goal at 5:47 of the third period, and Goerndt’s goal 1:26 later at 7:13 gave Fairmont their biggest lead of the game at 5-3. The Packers would not go away quietly, however, as Wangen notched her second goal of the game just :19 second later at 7:32 to cut the deficit to 5-4, but Fairmont goaltender Ilana Moeller and the Cardinal defense were able to hold Austin off the scoreboard the rest of the way for the win.
Austin outshot Fairmont for the game 25-22, and they were 1 for 5 on the power play, while the Cardinals did not have a power play change in the game. Goaltender Chole Schaal turned away 17 of the 22 shots she faced, while Moeller made 21 saves to earn the win for Fairmont between the pipes.
With the loss, the Packers are now 0-3 on the season, and Austin is back in action at Riverside Arena Saturday afternoon versus Windom in another non-conference game, with face-off at 1:00 p.m.