Kora Torkelson scored two goals and Emily Bergland had three assists to lead the top seeded and top ranked Thief River Falls Prowlers to a 5-1 win over the New Ulm Eagles in the Class A quarterfinals of the state girls hockey tournament Wednesday night at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Neither team scored in the first period though the Prowlers kept the Eagles freshman goalie Karlie Ries busy, out shooting New Ulm 16-3. Ries made several outstanding saves to keep the game scoreless.
Thief River Falls came to life like a waterfall that started flowing after a frozen winter with three second period goals. Berglaad set up Torkelson’s first goal when she passed from the right side of the cage to Torkelson and she fired it into the net. Torkelson, a sophomore, would strike again 1:35 later, scoring on a rebound that went into the left side of the goal. Then it was Bergland’s turn, skating through two Eagle defenders and sending it past Ries.
Jaimee Nelson would open the third period for Thief River Falls, scoring from a pass by Abbie Olson. New Ulm, who has advanced to the state tournament seven times and ended up in the consolation bracket, would finally erase the zero from their portion of the scoreboard when Brook Schugel just ahead of the blue line. But it would be the only goal for the Eagles as Bergland picked up her third assist on a pass to Callie Fagerstrom on the left point and she scored the Prowlers fifth and final goal.
Thief River Falls enter the tournament record book, out shooting New Ulm 58-9, breaking the single game record of 56 that was held by Breck in 2011 against New Ulm.
Wayne Rahlf, sports director for Thief River Falls radio station KTRF commented on the Prowlers outstanding goalie Frances Marshall, a finalist for senior goalie by Let’s Play Hockey.
“She’s a very good goaltender. A very very bright kid.”
According to Rahlf, Marshall plans to attend the University of St. Thomas and study actuarial math.
Thief River Falls improved their record to 24-1-3 and advanced to the Class A semifinals on Friday, February 20 at 1 PM at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. New Ulm fell to 19-9 and will play in the consolation semifinals on Thursday, February 19 at noon at Ridder Arena on the University of Minnesota campus.
It was the only game of the day that featured two teams with female head coaches. Whitney Restemayer led the Prowlers and Kristin Faber coached the Eagles.