After getting roughed up and shut out in its first two games of the Culver’s Cup tournament, the Lakeland girls hockey team put a strong three periods of hockey together for seventh place game and defeated familiar foes Northland Pines 4-2 on Dec. 29 in Madison.

The gratification of the win was enhanced by a bit of revenge, as before the winter break Pines beat Lakeland twice in a row. The Thunderbirds would not allow a three-peat.

“Neither of these teams likes to lose against the other so it’s always going to be a good game,” Lakeland head coach Steve Bucklew said. “Started out slow again, but the then the girls kind of put it on them.”

Jenna Duranso got it started for Thunderbirds 3:57 into the game as she scored off assists from Ashley Albee and Asucena Boyer to help the T-Birds go up 1-0.

Two minutes later though, Northland Pines’ Allie Kieffer would tie the game back up on an unassisted goal.  

Then Pines’ Emma Sima got called for a two-minute hooking penalty and Lakeland took advantage of the power play. Callie Johnson took assists from Asucena and Isabelle Boyer and scored 7:38 into the period and the Thunderbirds led 2-1 at the first intermission.

Ashley Albee would add to that lead in the second, scoring 4:59 into the period, off assists from Bri Carlin and Asucena Boyer. The assist by Boyer was her third of the game. 

With playmaker honors in hand, in the third period Boyer got in on the scoring off assists from Johnson and Kate Vizanko and the T-Birds were up 4-1 eight and half minutes into the final period.

Lakeland kept that lead until Pines’ Grace Wittkopf took a Kieffer assist and scored to make the game 4-2 with two minutes to play. 

But it was too little too late for the Eagles and the Thunderbirds would hold on for the 4-2 victory. 

The Thunderbirds got the win despite being outshot by the Eagles 23-18, though the Lakeland defense was as stingy as the offense was efficient.  

Goalie Anna Maulson stopped 21 of 23 shots and the defense killed three penalties. Johnson got called for tripping in the second. Duranso was called for cross checking in the third, and Isabelle Boyer was called for tripping in the third. On all three Pines’ power plays the T-Birds were able to come away unscathed.  

With the win Lakeland improves to 3-7 overall on the season. They currently stand at 2-2 in the Great Northern Conference, behind Northland Pines, who is currently undefeated in the GNC at 4-0. The game last Saturday did not count towards conference play.  

The T-Birds return to GNC play this coming Monday at Medford and then come home Tuesday night for a non-conference game against the Hayward co-op.

Jacob Friede may be reached at jacob@lakelandtimes.com or sports@lakelandtimes.com.