Trojan girls open season with 2 wins

New Prague’s girls hockey team is off to a good start, winning a pair of non-conference games against strong opponents.

The Trojans came from behind to defeat Richfield 5-2 in their opener Tuesday, Nov. 15, then shut out Mankato West 4-0 Thursday at Mankato.

The Trojans were scheduled to travel to Chaska Tuesday. Their next game is Saturday afternoon, at 2 p.m., when they host New Ulm in a rematch of last year’s Section 1A championship game.

Trojans 5, Spartans 2

Last year, Richfield goaltender Brittany Daniels stifled the Trojans, winning 2-1 despite being outshot 31-12 in the game. Through two periods of their season opener, it looked like more of the same, as Daniels seemed to have the Trojans’ number, with her team leading 2-1 despite a 24-6 shot advantage for the Trojans.

But New Prague opened the floodgates in the third. Britty Smith got on the board at 6:31 of the period, with an assist from Breanna Bisek to tie the game at 2-2. Both goalies came up with some big stops over the next eight minutes, but the Trojans scored three goals in the final two and one-half minutes to win the game.

Kacy Ambroz, who scored the Trojans’ first goal on a power play, got the gamewinner at 14:29, also on a power play. Breanne Hrabe had the puck behind the Trojan net and gave it to Ambroz, who skated along the left boards the length of the ice and beat Daniels on the glove side.

Ambroz completed her hat trick at 15:30, with assists going to Smith and Kilpatrick. The assist was the 300th point of Kilpatrick’s high school career.

Smith completed the scoring at 16:18 with an empty-net goal, from Kilpatrick and Bisek.

Daedra Culshaw was in goal for the Trojans and stopped 10 of 12 shots.

The teams’ Section championship and State third place banners from last season were unveiled in a pregame ceremony, saluting the team that finished with a 24-6 record.

Nov. 15, at New Prague

Richfield 0 2 0 — 2

New Prague 1 0 4 — 5

First Period: NP-Ambroz (Kilpatrick, Hrabe), 10:06 pp

Second Period: R-Savage (Leeman) 4:56. R-Lunneborg (Helling), 15:56, sh.

Third Period: NP-Smith (Bisek), 6:31, pp. NP-Ambroz (Hrabe), 14:29, pp. NP-Ambroz (Smith, Kilpatrick), 15:30. NP-Smith (Kilpatrick, Bisek), 16:18 en. Saves: Richfield-Daniels, 8-15-10-33; New Prague-Culshaw, 1-5-4-10.

Trojans 4, Scarlets 0

New Prague was wary going into their game against Mankato West Thursday at All Seasons Arena. The Scarlets, one of the teams expected to challenge the Trojans for the Section 1A title, had two things going for them: goaltender Jenny Gorny, who is considered one of the top senior netminders in southern Minnesota, and a team that lit up Fairmont for 15 goals in their season opener Tuesday.

But in the end, it was only the Trojans who were able to light the lamp on Thursday. Culshaw stopped all 20 shots she faced to stop the potent Scarlet offense, and the Trojans scored four goals to take the non-conference win.

Senior Jodi Jabas scored the Trojans’ first goal, coming away with the puck in a scramble in front of the net to beat Gorney at 4:28 of the first period.

The Trojans got some breathing room in the second period, with Kilpatrick scoring two goals and Bisek the other. Bisek’s goal came when the Trojans were killing a penalty and she cleared the puck out of her own zone. Gorny came out to play the puck, but it took a funny bounce and got past her, giving the Trojans a 3-0 lead.

Gullickson said West had an impressive first line. Those girls kept working hard

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