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Trojan girls hockey team now in a better place

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Fortunately for the Trojans, their home win over the Storm was one-sided enough to give the locals a much-needed boost.

On their way to Saturday-afternoon’s game at home ice, the Trojans had lost five consecutive games and dropped to 2-6 in the season. Before Morris-Benson came to town, the girls had lost consecutive games to Luverne with a combined score of 24-0.

That’s enough to put a smaller team on the line. But the Trojans responded with a sneer, and the Storm felt the brunt of it. WHS controlled the pace of Saturday’s game for more than 50 minutes and led 6-0 before giving up a few pointless goals with less than a minute to play.

Junior forward Kessey Aljets scored two goals and had two assists for the bounce-back Trojans, and after the game testified that her team is exactly where it is supposed to be now.

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When we do bad we can’t hang our heads on it, we just have to let it go, she said. Normally we always do pretty well against Morris, but after those two defeats against Luverne, we just thought: let’s just play hockey and show everyone what we have.

Worthington scored three times in the first period, twice in the second and again in the third.

The very first goal was scored four and a half minutes into the game by junior defender Rosamaria Rodriguez just in front of the MB goal, assisted by Brynne White and Ashton Fogelman. With 8:23 left in the period, Kory Nickel scored goal no. 2 with an assist from Aljets.

With about 35 seconds to play, Rodriquez was almost motionless with a knee injury (she didn’t come back) and the action was halted when the teams returned to their dressing rooms and the Zamboni showed up during the break. When the teams returned, Worthington scored his third goal with 13 seconds remaining in the period on a goal from Aljets at close range from the net. Nickel and Lauren Nelson got assists.

The Trojans continued to dominate in the second period. Aljets scored on a 4:01 break, starting at the red line and confidently rocking the puck back and forth on her stick before throwing it into the back of the net. White then scored without help with 1:35 to go.

WHS made it 6-0 with just a minute left in the third period when Angie Randgaard took the lead over a loose puck and found an opening from 15 feet away.

The shutout was denied when Morris-Benson’s Taryn Picht scored on breakaways with 52 and 30.2 seconds to go.

Despite the end, Alexis Lyons played a strong match in goal for the winners, a fact noted by head coach Chad Nickel, who said she worked hard this week to be where she needed to be to make the saves.

Nickel was happy with the whole team.

We were moving the puck. The great thing was that we had more confidence in this game, he said. It’s always difficult to compete with Luverne. The girls, usually, they recover quite well. So just moved on. We would skate fast. Our goal is to play hard for the next two weeks.

What Nickel said he saw on Saturday was a team that played its positions well, passed well, controlled the attacking zone, won races to the corners, and cleverly moved the puck through the neutral zone.

The victory over Morris-Benson (1-5) certainly pleased Aljets, who soon afterwards started to look to the future with more confidence.

It’s pretty fun getting these breaks in and working on new things a bit, she said.

Morris-Benson 0 0 2 – 2

Worthington 3 2 1-6

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