First Avery, then younger sister Peyton LeMieur scored goals at 5:03 of the first and second periods to lead the Brainerd / Little Falls Warriors to a 6-0 Central Lakes Conference victory over the Willmar Cardinals on Thursday 23 December at Essentia Health Center sportif.
In the opening frame, sophomore Hannah Neuwirth found a supporting Brynne Folden who slipped the puck across the face of Willmar goalie Brynne Grieger at a wide open Avery LeMeur. The elder then buried the puck in the back net.
“We’re sisters, so maybe there’s a connection there,” Peyton LeMieur said around 5:03 am.
It was the fifth goal of the season for Avery LeMieur who, at the time, tied his sister Peyton for third on the team. Neuwirth’s assist was his first point of the season, while Folden scored his 13th point and later his 14th, who is the team’s second behind Molly Hagelie.
Peyton LeMeur broke the tie with his sister at 5:03 of the second. Macy Peterson gave a puck to a broken LeMeur who saw the ice open in Grieger. The second-year forward faked the low side of the stick, then switched to the high glove side to score her sixth goal and 12th point. Peterson and Molly Pohlkamp were credited with assists.
“My teammates are really good at taking it out and made it clear to me,” said Peyton LeMieur. “I just put it at the back of the net. At Sartell I had two fumbles and I missed both so (assistant coach Tony) Couture always said put his shoulder down before shooting and I did.
Ten minutes later, Hagelie scored his eighth goal, the team’s highest, also switching to the glove side to take the lead to 3-0 for the Warriors after two. The unassisted goal was Hagelie’s sixth in the BLF’s last four games.
“We asked the girls to make faster decisions with the puck,” said Warriors head coach Tate Rusk. “Tonight they could have made decisions a little faster at times, but right now we like what we’re seeing. We’re clearing the puck and I think we did a good job bringing the puck to the net and just making sure we’re strong with our sticks and ready to go.
Despite controlling the puck for most of the first period, BLF only outscored Willmar 4-2. That rose to 19-3 in the second half as Brainerd again controlled most of the action on Willmar’s side.
BLF’s momentum continued into the third period where Mercedes Engstrom pushed the puck past Grieger to make it 4-0 after seven minutes. Engstrom’s third goal of the season was assisted by Kristina Baillif and Brynne Thoma. It was Thoma’s first college point of the season.
Four minutes later, LeMeiur recreated his first goal with another fumble. She did not miss this time either with the assist from Peterson.
“Again, it was just a perfect breakthrough for my team,” said Peyton LeMieur. “I just found the right spot on the top left and put it away.”
Junior Josie Kappes was in the right place at the right time as the puck ricocheted off the boards behind the net straight towards her. The assistant captain stood alone by the far pipe and quickly snuck it past Grieger for the final score. Aubree Caawue collected an assist on the game for her first college point of the season. Twelve different Warriors scored one point on Thursday.
“Our team is really good that we don’t have the same two daughters scoring every time,” said Peyton LeMieur. “Everyone is spending the same time and the same effort and we are all putting them aside. We work very well together.
Rusk said: “It was great today because we like to see our whole bench get involved. We like to see this productivity from our third line. They did a great job. Some of them are younger girls and they really stepped up when they needed it. “
Goalkeeper Emily Johnson made six shutout saves in her first start of the season.
“Emily is awesome,” Rusk said. “She did a great job. We have asked her to continue participating in training week after week and she is doing it for us. Tonight was a good game to get her involved and she did a great job. She should be really proud of herself.
Willmar 0 0 0 – 0
Brainerd / LF 1 2 3 – 6
First period: BLF-Avery LeMeur (Brynne Folden, HannahNeuwirth) 5:03
Second period: BLF-Peyton LeMeur (Macy Peterson, Molly Pohlkamp) 5:03; BLF-Molly Hagelie 15:13
Third period: BLF-Mercedes Engstrom (Kristina Baillif, Brynne Thoma) 10:02; BLF-Peyton LeMeiur (Macy Peterson) 14:03, BLF-Josie Kappes (Aubree Caawue, Brynne Folden) 15:17
Shots on goal: BLF 4 15 11 – 30, Will 2 1 3 – 6
Goalkeepers: BLF-Emily Johnson (6 saves); Will-Brynn Grieger (24 stops)
JEREMY MILLSOP can be reached at 218-855-5856 or [email protected] Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop.
Warriors 6, Willmar 0
Key: 12 different Warriors scored points and Emily Johnson got shutout on first start
Conference: BLF 5-0, Willpower 0-6
Globally: BLF 10-5, Willpower 4-8
Following: Brainerd / Little Falls hosts Elk River / Zimmerman 7:15 p.m. on Friday, January 7.