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Cardinal girls compete at state

Luverne girls' hockey team Section 3A Champs
Lead Summary
Greg Hoogeveen

The Luverne girls’ hockey team is headed to state playoffs after the Cardinals took down New Ulm 4-0 in St. Peter on Feb. 14 to claim the 2023 Section 3A Championship trophy.
This is Luverne’s fourth year in a row being crowned the 3A champs, but the Cardinals have yet to win a game at state.
This year’s opening round was set to begin Wednesday, Feb. 22, at the Xcel Energy Center with an opponent yet to be determined.
Luverne’s seeding and opponent draw could change the Cardinals’ outcome this year for the chance to win against larger metro teams.
Section 3A Championship Game
Those who braved the elements to attend the Valentine’s Day game in St. Peter were not disappointed.
It was the third time the Cardinals beat New Ulm this year, after taking down the Eagles 4-1 in their season opener Nov. 15 in New Ulm.
The two teams met again at the Blue Mound Ice Arena in Luverne Jan. 19, when the Cardinals claimed a 4-1 win over the Eagles.
Tuesday’s 4-0 win iced the Cardinals’ ticket to state.
The first period was a back-and-forth game with both teams not wanting to get caught making a mistake and giving up a goal.
The Cardinals had 10 shots on the Eagles’ goalie, but she stood strong and shut Luverne down.
New Ulm placed five shots on senior Mallory Von Tersch, but she deflected them with ease.
The first period closed in a scoreless 17 minutes of play.
In the second period Luverne stepped up its puck control and attacks on the New Ulm goalkeeper.
Finally, at 5:30 in the second period, senior Kamryn Van Batavia scored Luverne’s first goal.
She beat the Eagles goalie by drawing her out of the net and sneaking a backside stick shot past her.
Van Batavia was assisted by her little sister, seventh-grader Ella Van Batavia, and sophomore Payton Behr.
From that point, it felt like a weight was lifted and the Cardinals were free to have fun and play their game.
Payton Behr scored Luverne’s second goal at 10:14, driving directly at the Eagles goalie and beating her below the pads to the back of the net.
Behr was assisted by Kamryn Van Batavia and eighth-grader Kassidy Saarloos.
The second period ended with Luverne in command with a 2-0 lead.
Second period shots on goal favored Luverne 9-4.
In the third period the Cardinals kept up their pressure play and controlled the puck.
At 10:09 in the third period Kamryn Van Batavia had a breakaway shot bounce off the Eagles goalie.
Eighth-grader Izzy Steensma was able to follow the deflection to the side of the net and poke it in behind the goalie, scoring Luverne’s third goal.
Kamryn Van Batavia scored her second goal at 11:24 in the third period with a goalie-beating breakaway wrist shot.
She was assisted by Ella Van Batavia and fellow senior Mallory Nelson.
The game ended with Luverne winning 4-0 against New Ulm.
LHS senior goalie Mallory Von Tersch faced 15 shots in the game and deflected all of them to get her ninth shutout for the season.

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