The Whitecaps hosted the Shattuck-St. Mary's Sabres at Ridder Arena on Saturday and Sunday, coming away with two impressive wins. The score of Saturday's game was 4-2, before both teams opened up the offense on Sunday, leading to a 9-4 victory for the Whitecaps.
Allie Thunstrom had the first two goals for the Whitecaps, which came 9 seconds apart midway through the first period in game one. Thunstrom used her speed to break away and beat Shattuck's goaltender, Aerin Frankel on both scoring plays. Hannah Brandt and Brooke White-Lancette picked up assists on the first goal, and the second score was unassisted.
Both teams scored a goal in each of the second and third periods. After the Sabres pulled to within one early in the second, Lauren Barnes put the home team back up by two goals at 3-1. Shattuck answered early in the third, but Brandt sealed the game with an open net goal with 40 seconds left.
Julie Friend earned the win in goal for the Whitecaps, making 24 saves on 26 shots. The Whitecaps outshot Shattuck 51-26 for the game.
In game two on Sunday, Thunstrom got the first of her four goals at the 33 second mark of the first period. Winny Brown fed Brandt on the rush, who then shoveled off a nifty one-handed pass to Thunstrom on the 2-on-1. The Sabres answered to tie the score before the Whitecaps' Chelsey Rosenthal found the back of the net on a nice feed from Meaghan Pezon. Brandt also picked up an assist on the goal. Thunstrom then intercepted a pass at the Whitecaps' blue line and went in on a shorthanded breakaway, beating goaltender Abigail Levy at 17:10 to give the Whitecaps a 3-1 lead after one.
It was a high-scoring second period, as the Sabres got 2 and the Whitecaps notched 4 in the frame, while outshooting Shattuck 18-7 in the period. Scoring for the Whitecaps were White-Lancette, Thunstrom, Amy Stech, and Kalli Funk. White-Lancette's goal came on a rebound of Katie Frischmann's blast from the point, while Thunstrom's was a rebound of Rose Alleva's shot on the power play. Brown and Barnes combined on a nice passing play that led to Stech's goal, and Funk buried a rebound off a shot from Brown.
Thunstrom got her fourth goal of the game at the 7:13 mark of the third period on a nice 2-on-1 with Brandt, before Barnes recorded her second of the weekend, tipping in a shot from defenseman Alleva halfway through the stanza. The Sabres got the last goal of the game, bringing the final score to 9-4. Both Brown and Brandt had four assists on the day, and Friend made 17 saves. The Whitecaps outshot the Sabres 40-21.
The Whitecaps will be in action again next Friday, January 20th at 6 pm, as they will play Team Korea in an outdoor exhibition game in Stillwater as part of the festivities of Hockey Day Minnesota. Click here to learn more about Hockey Day 2017.
Photo: Whitecaps player Katie Frischmann with some youth players from her hometown of Rochester, MN, who attended the Whitecaps' game on Saturday.