Girls hockey: In a seesaw battle, Tartan gains the edge over Woodbury in OT

Tartan players Victoria Orlando (8), Tara Bighley (14), and Jordan Jackson (21) swarm to defend as Maggie Straka (30) minds the goal. Wayzata was up 3-0 after the first period at Tartan Nov. 26. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

Tartan 4 - Woodbury 3

It was not unlike a game of cat-and-mouse Saturday, Nov. 30, at Tartan Arena when the Woodbury Royals girls hockey team faced off against the Tartan Titans.

Woodbury put the first goal on the board. Tartan countered with three and led 3-1 at the end of the first period.

The second period belonged to the Royals as they knotted the count at 3-3 with a pair of unanswered tallies.

The third period did not belong to either team as they chased each other, but neither was able to pounce.

The adversaries skated into an eight-minute sudden victory overtime period all level at 3-3.

Then, with just 34 seconds before the game would end in a tie, the Titans scored.

Woodbury picked up a tally just 11 seconds into the game when Livia Twohig sent a feed off the opening faceoff to Libby Majerle. The senior defender sailed up ice and filed a shot to the back mesh of the Tartan net for a 1-0 Royals lead.

The teams fought hard to gain the upper hand, but it was Tartan that took advantage of a power play.

Working the puck in the Woodbury end, Ellie Tabaka sent a feed to Jordan Jackson who relayed the disc to Hannah Croonquist. The senior winger one-timed a laser into the back twines at 8:17.

Less than a minute later, this time with a Titan in the penalty box, Jaimee Nowicki picked up a loose puck and filed a bullet inside the Woodbury pipes for a short-handed goal to make it 2-1 Tartan at 9:02.

As the clocked ticked toward the end of the second period, a feed from Gabriella Bjellos found the blade of Croonquist, and she wasted no time pushing the Tartan lead to 3-1 at 15:57.

Play moved into period three, and this time the Royals gained the upper hand.

At 4:10 into the session Amy Haslerud feathered a feed to Majerle who quickly found an opening in the Titans’ armor for her second tally of the game.

Just under six minutes later, a Woodbury power-play effort paid off when Sarah Gustafson sent the puck to Sarah Wahlin. Her sizzler found the back twines for the tying 3-3 tally at 9:58.

The teams fought hard for the final seven minutes of regulation without changing the numbers on the scoreboard

The eight-minute overtime ended just 24 seconds before the final horn when Cali Pearcy put the puck on the stick of Tabaka. The skilled junior sharpshooter hit the bullseye with a bullet shot at 7:26 to end the contest and give Tartan an emotional 4-3 victory.

Wally Wakefield can be reached at

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