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Blue Devils keep conference title hopes alive with win

Prairie Centre's Kylee Hopp skates with the puck through the neutral zone as Detroit Lakes defender Annie Campbell tries to protect the blue line. Heather Bullock/Pioneer Journal. 1 / 2
Prairie Centre's Gabby Olson finds the back of the net for one of her two goals against Detroit Lakes. Heather Bullock/Pioneer Journal2 / 2

The Prairie Centre Blue Devils kept their conference title hopes alive with a 6-3 victory over Detroit Lakes in a Mid-State Conference girls hockey game at the Wadena Ice Arena on Jan. 11.

Gabby Olson’s big night keyed the Blue Devils. She finished with a pair of goals and helped set up three others. Kylee Hopp scored twice, playing in front of her hometown fans, while Shelby Otte tallied twice in an exciting third period.

Shelby Otte crosses the blue line with the puck.

Hopp continues her strong season from the blueline. She is second in the team in scoring with 22 points with 13 goals and nine assists. She is second in goals scored with 13 as well. Hopp has two game-winning goals on the season.

It was a much-needed win for the Blue Devils, who exacted revenge on the Lakers, who defeated them in overtime, 5-4, earlier in the season on a goal by Madyson Melgard. However, there would be no overtime heroics for the Lakers as the Blue Devils grabbed the lead and never relinquished it.

Hopp scored the lone tally in the first period with Olson and Kayla Sayovitz assisting on the goal. The Blue Devils extended their lead with a goal by Olson, it was the first of her two on the night. Sayovitz picked up her second assist, while Reece Ritter picked one up as well.

The Lakers got on the board with a goal by Anna Payne, cutting the lead in half. Karrigan Hallisey assisted.

The Blue Devils answered back when Hopp scored her second goal of the game and 13th of the season with an unassisted effort.

Reece Ritter lines up for a shot, while getting chased down by Madyson Melgard.

Hallisey cut the lead to one in the third with Payne assisting, yet the Blue Devils had an answer. Olson scored her second of two goals less than a minute after. Megan Och assisted, making it 4-2. Otte found the net on the power play, with Olson assisting, extending the lead to 5-2.

Payton Carlblom cut the lead to 5-3 late in the third period, but Otte but the game away with a goal in the closing seconds. Olson picked up the assist on the goal. Olson has been a force for the Blue Devils during the season. She is the team’s leading scorer with 16 goals and 11 assists.

Isabelle Hovel picked up the win in the nets. She finished with 23 saves on 26 shots. Kyndra McDougall was tagged with the loss. She stopped 16 of 22 shots.

The Blue Devils move back to .500 overall at 9-9-0 and move into a first place tie with Northern Lakes for the Mid-State Conference lead. Both teams are 3-1-0 in conference play. The Blue Devils defeated Northern Lakes, 8-2, in their only meeting to date. The teams meet again on Jan. 16. The Blue Devils have a conference game left with Park Rapids Area as well.

DL 0 1 2--3

PC 1 2 3--6

Scoring

First Period

PC-Kylee Hopp, ES, (Gabby Olson, Kayla Sayovitz)

Second Period

PC-Gabby Olson, ES, (Kayla Sayovitz, Reece Ritter)

DL-Anna Payne, ES, (Karrigan Hallisey)

PC-Kylee Hopp, ES, (Unassisted)

Third Period

DL-Karrigan Hallisey, ES, (Anna Payne)

PC-Gabby Olson, ES, (Megan Och)

PC-Shelby Otte, PP, (Gabby Olson)

DL-Payton Carlblom, ES, (Unassisted)

PC-Shelby Otte, ES, (Gabby Olson)

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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