Heather Rule, SportsEngine01/29/21, 7:00PM CST
Andover senior goaltender Hannah Skavnak (35) stopped 14 shots and earned a shutout Friday night as the Huskies beat Maple Grove 7-0. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine
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Fri Jan 29, 2021 @ 7:00p Andover Arena
Along with her all-black goalie pads and home-white jersey, Andover senior goaltender Hannah Skavnak wore a neon green monster hat after her third shutout in as many starts this season.
Player of the game hat? You bet.
“It’s our thing for our team,” Skavnak said. “Player of the game gets the hat, the little monster hat, to wear after every game. And you have to wear it until the next game.”
Hannah Skavnak after the game. Photo by Heather Rule, SportsEngine
Skavnak earned the colorful, fuzzy honor by stopping all 14 shots she saw in Andover’s 7-0 victory over Northwest Suburban Conference foe Maple Grove on Friday night at Andover Ice Arena. The Huskies, ranked No. 1 in the Class 2A coaches’ poll, used their depth once again on offense, with five different goal scorers contributing.
Friday was perhaps the first big, competitive test for the defending Class 2A state champion Huskies this winter. Maple Grove (3-2-0) was riding a three-game winning streak with a pair of shutouts and a 2-1 overtime victory over Elk River/Zimmerman on Tuesday. The No. 6-2A Crimson had allowed only two goals this winter before facing Andover.
The Huskies (5-0-0) responded with a suffocating offense to score seven goals off of 48 shots on goal.
“I think you could kind of see those first couple shifts, it was pretty back and forth,” said Andover coach Melissa Volk. “Then we kind of settled in and started to play our own game.”
What does the Andover game look like? Well, the seven goals and 48 shots on net actually mark season-lows. Andover came into the contest averaging more than 10 goals a game. Defensively, they’re allowed only one goal and 40 total shots.
Skavnak gets the pleasure of watching her teammates go to work from her spot at the other end.
“It’s insane how well these girls play, and how creative they are in the offensive zone and defensive zone,” Skavnak said. “It’s just a well-rounded team with good leaders.”
Photo Gallery: Maple Grove vs. Andover
Sophomore Ella Boerger got the Huskies started with a goal to give her team a 1-0 lead in the middle of the first period, accepting a pass and then making a couple of stickhandling moves before burying the puck in front of the net. She’s centering the team’s top line this season, in between standout senior captains Gabby Krause and Peyton Hemp.
After Hemp blasted home a rebound in the slot only 53 seconds into the second period, Boerger scored her second goal of the game 1 minute, 11 seconds later for a 3-0 lead as Andover really started to take control. Krause added a pair of goals of her own in the third period.
Boerger had a four-point night with a couple of assists, giving her five goals and 16 points on the season, already surpassing her regular-season point total from last year when she recorded 14 points in 24 games. So far, Boerger has stepped into her new top-line role with Hemp and Krause rather seamlessly.
“It’s very, very fun to play with them,” Boerger said. “I’m just so honored to be able to play with them in their senior year.
“There’s sometimes where I don’t even expect the puck to be on my stick, and somehow they get it on my stick.”
Volk said there was one game where lines were switched a bit, but overall it’s been a good fit with the trio.
“She can keep up with those two [Hemp and Krause] speed-wise,” Volk said of Boerger. “And then she’s gritty and plays really smart defensively.”
As Boerger and the rest of the Huskies kept the offense going, they also did a solid job of snuffing out any potential for Maple Grove to gain zone time or scoring chances. They knew they could rely on Skavnak in the net as well.
It was Skavnak’s turn in the goaltender rotation Friday. Though a senior, she’s in her first year with Andover, having spent the past couple of years with the Rogers boys’ program.
She wanted to get back into girls’ hockey (she played on girls’ teams until she was 12) because the game is growing and improving.
“The speed at this level is just so high,” Skavnak said. “At these practices, I’m getting the best shots in the state.”
Volk has split up the goaltender time thus far between Skavnak and sophomore Courtney Stagman. The shutout Friday improved Skavnak’s record to 3-0-0 with 20 total saves in the three shutouts for a 153-minute streak.
Skavnak stays engaged in the game by taking little skates outside the net in between whistles and also being a vocal communicator with her teammates during play. She also looked sharp in the crease when she needed to be. Her biggest test of the night came on the game’s first power play in the second period when she stopped Maple Grove senior Lauren Stenslie on a shorthanded breakaway opportunity.
“Making saves like that makes my day,” Skavnak said.
The Huskies’ Isa Goettl (12) moves in to score Andover's seventh goal late in the third period in a 7-0 victory over the Crimson Friday night. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine
Defending Class 2A state champion Andover, the top-ranked team in the Class 2A coaches’ poll, continues to dominate early this season.
The team’s latest chapter ended with the Huskies earning a 7-0 shutout over No. 6-2A Maple Grove in a clash between Northwest Suburban Conference rivals Friday at Andover Ice Arena.
Linemates Ella Boerger, a sophomore, and senior captain Gabby Krause each scored a pair of goals for the Huskies. Boerger also tallied a pair of assists while Krause recorded one helper. Teammate Peyton Hemp chipped in with a goal and three assists.
Pumping in a lot of goals is a theme this season for Andover (5-0-0), with the team having outscored its opponents 48-1 through five games. They’ve allowed only one goal and 40 shots on goal through those five contests.
Andover senior goaltender Hannah Skavnak made 14 saves while senior Brooke Cassibo stopped 41 shots for Maple Grove (3-2-0).
Maple Grove goaltender Brooke Cassibo stops a slapshot taken by the Huskies' Ella Boerger during a 7-0 loss to Andover on Friday night. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine