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Storm girls skate to within one point of reigning state champs

The Morris Benson Area girls' hockey team proved that the Storm can skate with the best, falling one point shy against the reigning state champion Cardinals Saturday in Alexandria.

This weekend the Storm will participate in the annual tournament in Willmar.

It was a fairly even match up against Alexandria, evident in the 3-2 score, as well as the shots-on-goal total. The Cardinals had only a two-shot (30-28) advantage.

The Cardinals scored early in the first period and took a 2-0 lead six minutes into the game.

Midway through the period, the Storm took advantage of a power-play situation when Emily Rajewsky scored off assists from Dani Schultz and Sam Falk.

The Cardinals extended their lead to 3-1 later in the first period.

Both teams were held scoreless in the second period, but the Storm came out of the break energized. Schultz scored off assists from Sam Falk and Brooke Anderson early in the third period on another power-play opportunity.

The Storm were frustrated late in the game causing two players to spend time in the penalty box. The Storm had four penalties charged against them, while the Cardinals made two trips to the penalty box.

Brooke Falk made 27 saves for the Storm at the net. The Cardinal goalie had 26 saves.

Coach Jeff Mahoney said the game could have gone either way against Alexandria, ranked fifth in the state.

"We started out really good, we just ran out of clock," he said. "Falling behind 3-1 really took the wind out of our sails."

Mahoney said the Cardinals' third score was a turning point in the game. The Storm played tentatively after that point, until a pep talk during the break brought them back out ready to play.

"Brooke Falk did well in the net," said Mahoney. "Monica Lindblad played good defense. Kelly Mahoney played solid in both defense and offense.

"Abby Knutson and Dani Schultz also had good games," he said. "Sara Beyer got some good shifts for her first year back at hockey.

"As a whole, the team played really well," said Mahoney.