By Nick Gerhardt
Northfield rolled to a 10-2 victory Thursday over Rochester Century/Rochester John Marshall at Northfield Ice Arena to push its winning streak to four games.
The Raiders (11-4, 5-0 Big 9) also maintained their lead in the conference standings with the win, setting up a showdown with second-place Owatonna (8-4, 5-1 Big 9) next Thursday in Owatonna. Junior Ayla Puppe set a season high with seven points against the Panthers after she scored three goals and had four assists. The three goals pushed her season total to 27 and No. 2 on the list of the state’s leading scorers this season.
Junior Emerson Garlie scored three times and assisted on another goal for a four-point night for Northfield, ranked No. 16 in Class 2A.
Senior forwards Tove Sorenson and Megan Snyder each had goals on senior night while junior forward Rita Langford and eighth-grade forward Emma Peroutka also scored goals for the Raiders, who haven’t lost since Dec. 20 against No. 13-ranked Lakeville North in a 2-1 game at Northfield Ice Arena.
The Raiders jumped out to a 2-0 lead after Puppe scored on a breakaway and Sorenson scored with assists from junior Isabelle Stephes and ninth-grader Eloise DeBus less than two minutes into the game.
Rochester Century/John Marshall (6-10, 6-2 Big 9) came into the game in second place in the conference and got a goal back 13 minutes, 48 seconds into the first period from sophomore Daelyn Williams to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Puppe answered with an unassisted goal at 14:35 and Garlie scored with 35 seconds left in the period to make it 4-1.
Puppe netted her third goal of the game just a minute into the second period on a power play and Langford scored a little more than a minute later with assists from senior defender Savannah Buxcel and junior defender Grace McCoshen to make it 6-1.
The Panthers got one back at 13:30 of the period when Megan Gamble scored on an assist from Kailey Birkestrand and Paige Groslie, but that marked the final tally for Rochester Century/John Marshall.
Garlie got her second goal of the game at 14:16 with Puppe assisting for a 7-2 lead.
The Raiders added three more goals in the third period with Snyder scoring first at 2:54 with assists from sophomore defender Kiera Hauskins and ninth-grader Ashlyn Paukert. Garlie got her third goal of the game at 9:01 with an assist from Puppe and Peroutka picked up a goal with helpers from Puppe and Garlie.
Northfield finished with 40 shots on goal and limited the Panthers to five. Sophomore Macy Mueller earned the win.
The Raiders will get a test Saturday when Orono, the No. 5-ranked team in Class A, arrives at Northfield Ice Arena for a 2 p.m. tilt. The Spartans (9-3-2, 3-0 Metro West) defeated Class 2A Alexandria 2-0 in their last game.