Storm secures berth in quarterfinals

SAN JOSE, Calif. – The Keweenaw Storm 19U girls’ hockey team booked its place in the weekend quarterfinals after seeing off the Charles River (Mass.) Blazers 7-1 in the second game of pool play at the USA Hockey Tier II Nationals Thursday.

The Storm will go head-to-head with the only other undefeated team in the American bracket, the Chazy (N.Y.) Lady Flyers today. Neither side can finish worse than third in the six-team pool, with the top four reaching the quarterfinals Saturday.

Keweenaw controlled play from the outset, just like in Wednesday’s opener, outshooting the Blazers 16-2 in the first period.

The first two goals Thursday came from players who scored Wednesday. Selena Stromer notched her third goal of the tournament and opened the scoring at 5:36 of the first, then Megan Yeo made it 2-0 with her second goal of the tournament, at 14:41.

Charles River made up some ground on Marisa Gehrig’s goal at 7:12 of the second period, but the Storm took advantage of a 5-on-3 situation to restore a two-goal lead on Lexi Pyykkonen’s power-play tally at 13:04.

The Storm buried the Blazers to start the third period, scoring three times in the first 3:46. Jessica Schlaff recorded the first two scores before Mackenzie Hietala made it 6-1 just 42 seconds after Schlaff scored.

Schlaff, who also had two assists for a five-point game, followed with her hat trick goal at 13:10 to close out the scoring.

The Storm got nine saves on 10 shots from goaltender Stephanie King.

Bailey Raffaelli added two assists.