The Austin Packers girls’ hockey team was looking to get back on the winning track Tuesday night at the Rochester Rec Center against the Mayo Spartans in a Big 9 Conference matchup, and two goals by Devynn Priest, the leading scorer for the Spartans, plus stellar goaltending by Chloe Ruprecht, particually in the second period keyed a 4-2 Mayo win.
Mayo struck first when Priest tallied on a backhand shot at 12:24 of the first period, but only 30 seconds later, Austin’s Kate Holtz fired a wrist shot past Ruprecht at 12:54 to tie the hockey game at one at the end of the first period.
Priest and Haley Handleman scored in the second period for the Spartans, but the difference maker was Ruprecht, who stopped a blistering one-timer off the stick of Holtz during a 2 on 0 breakaway for the Packers, plus three other breakaways and several other close-in chances for the Packers, who outshot the Spartans in the period 11-7.
Jordyn McCormack, the leading scorer for the Packers cut the lead to 3-2 with a goal at 10:05 of the third period, but despite having four power play opprotunities in the period, Austin could not tally the equalizer and an empty-net goal by Maggie Augeson at 16:27 sealed the win for Mayo.
Freshman Sara Wangen, playing only the third game of her career in the nets made 16 saves for Austin Tuesday night, while Ruprecht turned away 18 shots to earn the win.
Austin is now 3-7 overall on the season and 2-6 in the Big 9 Conference. The Packers are back into action on Thursday night against Red Wing, with face-off at Riverside Arena at 7:15 p.m.