Caitlyn Gutzman iced the game with a pair of goals - including the empty-netter - in the final 1:34 for the No. 4 Northern Lakes Lightning, who defeated the No. 5 Prairie Centre Blue Devils 4-1 in the Section 6-1A Quarterfinals Thursday, Feb. 6.
Northern Lakes held a 59-8 shots on goal advantage. Despite greatly out-shooting their opponents, the game was tied 1-1 through two periods. The Lightning's only goal in that time came off the stick of Alyssa Kosloski.
“We were a little sluggish in the first period, but obviously the goaltender for Prairie Centre is phenomenal - probably one of the best goalies I’ve ever seen,” Lightning coach Chuck Deutsch said. “We weren’t really worried about coming out on top, but she was just on fire.
“We came to life in the third period with the three goals, one of them an empty-netter. We had 59 shots on net and only scored four goals, so she was phenomenal … It was all just trying to get it by her. We came out on top though.”
A goal by Riley Fogarty early in the third period gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead.
Goalie Kate Stephens recorded seven saves for the Lightning.
Northern Lakes swept the regular-season series with a 5-0 win Nov. 21 and a 7-1 win Jan. 14.
The Lightning were scheduled to play at No. 1 Willmar on Tuesday, Feb. 11 in a semifinal game. The Cards beat Northern Lakes 7-3 Nov. 12 and 7-3 Jan. 7.
“For the first time all season, we are 100% healthy on varsity. That means we have three complete forward lines … We played Willmar at our house pretty well, but we only had two complete lines and it was obvious they were tired in the third period. We now have three strong lines and we have outshot Willmar twice. It is just a matter of containing their top scorers.”
Prairie Centre 1 0 0 -- 1
Northern Lakes 1 0 3 -- 4
First period: NL-Alyssa Kosloski 13:09; PC-Kyra Swanson (Kayla Sayovitz) ppg 4:11
Third period: NL-Riley Fogarty (Kosloski) 12:36; NL-Caitlyn Gutzman (Hayden Boelter) 1:34; NL-Gutzman (Rose Aldridge) 0:45
Shots on goal: NL 59, PC 8
Goalies: NL-Kate Stephens (7 saves); PC-Kennedy Lemke (55 saves)
Overall: NL 12-14.