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Lieski lifts Nova past Blue Devils

Erica Lieski ensured that Minneapolis would complete season sweep of Prairie Centre when she recorded the hat-trick, helping MInneapolis to a 3-1 victory at the Sauk Centre Ice Arena on Jan. 30.

The Blue Devils were hoping to build on a 7-4 victory over Crookston and jump above the .500 mark. However, they continued their trend of picking up a win and dropping a game. The Blue Devils finish the regular season with a 12-13 mark, heading into Section 6A playoffs.

The Blue Devils will most likely be the No. 5 seed and open the playoffs on the road. The official brackets for the postseason will be released on Monday, Feb. 5, with the opening round taking place on Thursday, Feb. 8 at the home site of the high seed.

Lieski scored in each period, giving the Novas just enough offense to carry her squad over the Blue Devils. Her first period goal came on the power play, giving the Novas the early edge.

However, Reece Ritter answered in the opening minutes of the second period, evening the score at one. Lieski wasted little time in providing a response for the Novas. She scored just 16 seconds later, giving the Novas the lead for good.

Lieski added the final goal of the game six seconds into the third period, sealing the win for the Novas, who earned their ninth win of the season.

Both goalies were busy in the contest. Prairie Centre’s Mackenzie Och finished with 32 saves on 35 shots, while Lilah Schultz stopped 42 of 43 to pick up the win.

MPL 1 1 1--3

PC 0 1 0--1

Scoring

First Period

MPL-Erica Lieski, PP, (Maddy Helmstetter, Lizzie Mewes)

Second Period

PC-Reece Ritter, ES, (Unassisted)

MPL-Erica Lieski, ES, (Unassisted)

Third Period

MPL-Erica Lieski, ES, (Unassisted)

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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