Trojans, Wingers vie for section crown

New Prague’s Marissa Kivi stretches to get to the puck during New Prague’s 9-1 win over Faribault Wednesday, Feb. 6. To see more photos click on the blue button, lower right. (Chuck Kajer Photo)

For the second straight year, New Prague and Red Wing will face off for the Section 1A girls hockey championship. Game time is 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, at Owatonna.

The two teams split during the regular season, with each team winning on the other’s home ice. Red Wing defeated New Prague 8-2 in New Prague on December 11, with the Trojans returning the favor with a 4-3 win in Red Wing January 15.

The Wingers won last year’s section crown, defeating New Prague 5-2. They went on to place fourth at last year’s state tournament. They are the section’s top seed with a 24-2 record and are ranked No. 3 in the state. Their only losses are to the Trojans and to No. 2 Blake.

Red Wing had a first round bye in the section playoffs and defeated Waseca 13-1 in their semifinal win.

The Trojans, seeded No. 2, are seeking to return to state after a four-year absence. They have a 20-6-1 record and are ranked No. 8 in Class A. Three of their six losses are to top-10 teams (Orono, Mound-Westonka and Red Wing).

The Trojans advanced to the section finals with two wins last week. They easily handled Faribault, winning 9-1, and defeated Northfield 5-2.

Trojans 9, Falcons 1 Some fans were still getting settled in their seats when the Trojans stunned Faribault with three goals, taking a 3-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.

Kasey Marquardt scored just 49 seconds into the game, on assists from Dani Kocina and Mikaela Algren. Nineteen seconds later it was Lindsay Paschke scoring, with Kocina getting another assist, and just 43 seconds after that Brittany Sticha scored on a power play, with assists to Marissa Kivi and Mikaela Algren.

The Falcons defense tightened up a bit and they almost escaped the first period with a three-goal deficit, but Kocina scored on a power play with 13 seconds remaining, with assists to Marquardt and Paschke, to make it 4-0 after one period.

Faribault scored early in the second period to make it 4-1, but the Trojans responded with four unanswered goals. Jordan Anderson got the first one, from Sticha and Catie Skaja. Then Paschke scored three straight goals, the first from Sticha and Algren, the second on a power play, from Kivi and Algren and the third from Kocina and Kendra Collier.

Algren got the game’s final tally in the third on a power play, with Sticha getting the assist, to make it 9-1.

New Prague outshot the Falcons 59-11. Sophie Puente had 10 saves for the win.

Trojans 5, Raiders 2 New Prague’s penalty kill was a key in their 5-2 win over Northfield in the section semifinals Saturday, Feb. 9.

he Trojans took seven penalties for 17 minutes, but the Raiders came up empty on seven power play opportunities. Meanwhile it was a pair of third period power play goals that put the game away for the Trojans.

New Prague scored the only goal of the first period, as Kocina scored on assists from Paschke and Marquardt.

The Raiders tied it early in the second, but the Trojans quickly regained the lead and added another goal to take a 3-1 lead. Skaja got the first goal from Jordan Anderson and Sticha, with Taylor Anderson getting the second goal, from Kivi and Paschke.

The Raiders closed to within 3-2 with a goal early in the third, but New Prague got power play goals from Kocina (from Witt and Paschke) and Sticha (from Skaja and Jordan Anderson) to ice the game.

New Prague had a 28-26 advantage in shots, with Puente stopping 24 shots for the win.