The downside for Elk River-Zimmerman was that their performance was sluggish, as their coach made clear.
But the upside was a second straight win, 4-0 over Coon Rapids, that got the Elks back to .500 at 3-3-1.
“It was ugly. We could not handle the puck, or pass the puck, and when we did make a good pass, we could not catch it,” said Joe Heasley. “We passed to Coon Rapids more than to our own players. If we were playing Andover tonight, we’d have lost 10-0.”
Hosting a 1-6-1 team, the Elks nursed a 2-0 lead until scoring twice in the last 91 seconds.
“It’s nice to get back to .500. We’ve played a couple good teams and lost to them,” Heasley said. “But I don’t even care about records right now. We just have not looked good the last few games. It’s hard to figure out. We are still a young team, but we’ve got kids with experience, too.”
Kaylee Forster (unassisted) and Julia Miller (assisted by Mandy Sailor and Drea Westgaard) gave the Elks a 2-0 lead in the second period.
Westgaard, a freshman forward, notched her first varsity goal with 1:31 left (Miller assisting), and Abbie Canton drilled another with :41 left (Samantha Westgaard assisting).
Jessica Edwards made 24 saves in the shutout. Cardinal goalie Brittany Buhl stopped 38 of 42.
The Elks improved to 3-2-1 in conference and 3-0-1 at home. They will play at Andover on Saturday, 7 p.m.