Austin Packers girls hockey felled by Winona 8-2 Thursday night

The Austin Packers girls hockey team played host to the Winona Winhawks in a Big 9 Conference and Section 1A matchup at Riverside Arena Thursday evening, and sophomore forward Kasja Kovala tallied three goals for a hat trick, while senior forward August Kearns added two goals of her own as the Winhawks skated to an 8-2 win.

Winona jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first period before junior forward/defenseman Camille Dunlap scored unassisted with only :29 seconds left in the period to cut the Winhawk lead to 4-1 at the end of one, but junior forward Avery Engbrecht notched the only goal of the second period for Winona to make the score 5-1 Winhawks, and three more goals increased the Winona lead to 8-1 in the third period before senior forward/defenseman Sara Wangen scored her team-leading 15th goal of the season at 13:30 of the period to account for the 8-2 final.

Winona outshot Austin 33-21 in the game, and 8th grade goaltender Chloe Schaal made 25 saves, while Winona netminder Aliya Gricius turned away 19 shots for the win between the pipes.  Austin was whistled for three penalties for six minutes, while Winona was penalized once for two minutes, and neither team scored on the power play in the game.

With the loss, Austin is now 1-14 overall on the season and 1-9 in the Big 9 Conference, and the Packers are now off until next Tuesday night when they will play host to Worthington in a non-conference game, with face-off at Riverside Arena at 7:00 p.m. that evening.

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