The Eagle River Eagles U14 girls’ hockey team participated at the state tournament in Hayward this past weekend. The Eagles ended up fourth overall and started their round robin on Saturday, March 3rd against the DC Diamonds of Dane County.
The Eagles started the tournament with a win against the DC Diamonds. In the first period, the DC Diamonds started strong, finding the back of the net two minutes into the first period. Less than three minutes later, Madison Stebbeds placed the puck just over the goalie’s shoulder. The rest of the period, the game remained even with Eagles serving two penalties.
Eagle River began the second period with yet another goal by Madison Stebbeds in the first four minutes. Later in the period, Grace Wittkopf takes a shot from the slot, bringing the score to 3-1. The DC Diamonds were able to hold off the Eagles until the third period. Throughout the third period, the Eagles were able to get one more, scored by Halle Kerner. The final score of the first game was 4-2 with the Eagles advancing.
In the second game, the Eagles take on Western Wisconsin Stars to see who advances to the championship game. The first period was dominated by the Stars, however, it was scoreless until twenty-six seconds left. The second was also dominated by the Stars but was a more aggressive game for both teams, with the Eagles serving two penalties and the Stars serving one. Both teams were able to kill off their penalties, but when the Stars were in the box, they scored a shorthanded goal. This bringing the score to 2-0, the Eagles trailing at the end of the second period.
The Eagles didn’t give up yet, going into the third period the girls came out with a burst of energy. The third period was held even, but the Stars were able to slip one more past the Eagles goalie. The Eagles played hard until the buzzer, but the Stars came out on top with the score being 3-0. The Eagles would play for third place on Sunday.
The Eagle River Eagles went head to head with the River Falls Black Cats for third place. Quickly into the first period, the Black Cats set the tone for the game with a hard shot from the slot, resulting in a goal. Not four minutes later, Maddy Ahlborn took a shot on the ice from the point, bringing the score to 1-1 until the end of the first. The second period stayed even until the Black Cats received a penalty for slashing. Further, into the period, the Eagles serve two more penalties for tripping and interference. With 2:56 remaining in the second period, Julia Nesbitt caught a pass from the corner and scored a one-timer, back door.
After the second period, the Eagles are leading 2-1. Going into the third period, the tripping from the second period was still in the box. The Eagles were able to kill that penalty. Eagles earn a checking penalty with 5:43 remaining, not thirty seconds later, Eagles receive another penalty for interference. The girls held the Black Cats off until fourteen seconds remained on the first penalty when they found that back of the net, tying the game, bringing it to overtime. Three minutes into the overtime, the Black Cats shot one just over the Eagles goalies glove. The final score being 3-2. The Eagles took fourth place at the 2018 state tournament.