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GIRLS HOCKEY: Thief River Falls wins 3-1 against Green Wave

East Grand Forks' Erica Eades is squeezed between Thief River Falls' players Emily Bergland, left, and goalie Frances Marshall in the third period Friday in East Grand Forks. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald1 / 5
Thief River Falls players celebrate their third goal against East Grand Forks Friday. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald2 / 5
Thief River Falls players Sylvia Marlot, Kora Torkelson and Briana Jorde celebrate the Prowlers first goal as East Grand Forks goalie Madi Galstad looks away Friday. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald3 / 5
Thief River Falls' Kayli Eskeli and East Grand Forks' CoCo Piche battle for control of the puck. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald4 / 5
Thief River Falls' Briana Jorde skates past East Grand Forks' Colleen Mochoruk and Gina Larson in the second period. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald5 / 5

Usually, when Frances Marshall is in the nets with a two-goal lead, Thief River Falls High School girls hockey coach Corey Poole is feeling some confidence.

Not so on Friday against East Grand Forks Senior High, however.

“East Grand Forks is so dangerous, so skilled,’’ Poole said. “We could feel a little tension on the bench when they scored. The comfort level wasn’t there like it usually is, at least not for me.’’

For Poole, it turned out to be wasted worry. In a matchup of the top two ranked teams in Minnesota Class A girls hockey, Marshall and Kora Torkelson led No. 1 Thief River Falls to a 3-1 win against the Green Wave at the East Grand Forks Civic Center.

It was only the second time all season the 22-2-1 Green Wave, who entered the game with a 5.7 goals-per-game average, have been held to one goal. Both times it was at the hands of Marshall. The junior had 16 saves.

“Frances has been so good,’’ Poole said. “We expect games like that from her. She did a nice job. She kept rebounds in and did a great job of squaring to the puck. And our defense’s zone coverage was better than it’s been all season.’’

It wasn’t just Marshall that slowed the Wave. The Prowlers were strong in front of her and limited Senior High’s opportunities.

“They made it difficult to get to the net,’’ Senior High coach Jim Scanlan said. “And we spent the majority of the time in our zone. That doesn’t happen very often; this was probably the first time all year.’’

Torkelson’s 13th and 14th goals of the season gave the Prowlers a 2-0 lead.

“Kora’s had a couple of two-goal games,’’ Poole said, “but not in a big game like this one.’’

Torkelson made it 1-0 on a power play at 9:25 in the first when the Wave couldn’t clear the puck and Torkelson stuffed in a rebound from close range in a crowd. At 3:45 of the second, Torkelson controlled a loose puck in the neutral zone, went in one-on-one on Wave goalie Madi Galstad and beat her with a forehand.

“That was the big goal,’’ Scanlan said. “It’s tough enough to get one by Marshall. Now it would take three for us to win. That’s not easy.’’

The Wave got one of those in the second when the puck was deflected in front of Marshall, sailing high before Riley Koberinski scored from short range. Morgan Martell capped the scoring with 1:21 remaining to play.

Galstad finished with 27 saves for the Wave. Thief River Falls improved to 22-1-0.