Hockey: Two quick goals lift Elk girls over Stars 3-0 in opener

Jonna Curtis wristed this shot past North Metro's Meagan Wenner just nine seconds into the game. (Photo by Bob Burley)

by Bruce Strand,  Sports editor

Jonna Curtis pumped in two goals in the first 55 seconds of the season and Elk River-Zimmerman defeated the North Metro Stars 3-0 at  home Thursday evening.

“That was quite an eventful first minute,” reflected coach Joe Heasley.

Tayler Schmitt (middle) was hugged by Abbie Canton (10) and Sam Westgaard (20) after Schmitt scored in the first period. (Photo by Bob Burley)

Curtis, entering her senior season with 114 goals, needed just nine seconds to add to that total, and just 46 more seconds to score again, both on penetrations close to the net.

Tayler Schmitt made it 3-0 before the period ended, the sophomore forward’s first career goal.

After that, Stars senior goalie Meaghan Wenner was impenetrable, stopping all 16 Elk shots in the second period and 15 in the third, for a total of 42 saves.

“You’ve got to get off the bus ready to play,” said Stars coach Jack Gravel. “You have to play 51 minutes, not 50. But we gave up two quick ones and we covered pretty good after that.”

This was the fourth game for North Metro (1-3) and Elk River’s first.

“They weren’t finishing real well,” said Gravel about the Elks. “If this wasn’t their first game they might have had five or six.”

Elk goalie Tory Herrmann had a much more relaxing opener than her counterpart, making 13 saves.

Elk senior Josie Brown got in position to back-hand a shot that was stopped by Meaghan Wenner. (Photo by Bob Burley)

For that, Heasley credited his team’s ability to hang unto the puck.

“In my eight years, I don’t think I’ve seen any team of mine cycle the puck in the offensive end as well as they did tonight,” said Heasley.

The Elks were able to kill off a 5-on-3 disadvantage for a minute, 24 seconds late in the game to preserve the shutout, with Curtis, Madison Ellis and Cassey Petrich in front of Herrmann.

The Elks will host Champlin Park on Tuesday.