NEW ULM — Luverne’s Kamryn Van Batavia scored two goals and added an assist on her sister’s goal as the Cardinals downed New Ulm 4-1 in a Big South Conference girls hockey game at the New Ulm Civic Center.
Afton Hulke scored the lone goal for the Eagles on an assist from Evelyn Sellner.
New Ulm goaltender Ava Brennen stopped 33 of 37 Luverne shots as the Cardinals outshot New Ulm 37-26 in the game.
“This is not a tough loss,” New Ulm head coach Jeremy Reed said. “I told the girls after the game that the time to improve is now. We need to improve on our puck handling and we need to transition the puck down lower in the offensive zone — a couple of those goals that we gave up were off of turnovers that we had high in the offensive zone. And we will be working on generating some offense.”
After a scoreless first period, Luverne got on the board when Kamryn Van Batavia scored seven seconds into the second period after breaking in on Brennen and putting the puck by high on the glove side. Luverne carried that 1-0 lead into the third period.
An early goal just 12 seconds into the third period by Mallory Nelson made it 2-0 before Hulke got the Eagles on the board with their first goal of the season at the 1:54 mark on the power play.
The Eagles got a second power-play chance midway through the final period.
But Kamryn Van Batavia scored on a short-handed goal to lift Luverne to a 3-1 lead at the 8:33 mark.
“She (Kamryn Van Batavia) is a real good player,” Reed said. “I thought that our girls played well with her. She got away a couple of times and she knows how to put the puck in the net.”
Luverne made it 4-1 late when Ellisyn Van Batavia scored on an assist from her sister.
Reed said that he is surprised by his team’s lack of offense in their first two games.
“It looks like we are holding our sticks a little tight and want to be to perfect,” Reed said. “We need to get that first goal (Thursday at Minnesota River). That will be huge.”
New Ulm is now 0-2 overall and 0-1 in the Big South.