Ladwig stops the puck

Hutchinson senior goalie Hannah Ladwig dives on a puck as Gentry Academy players close in during their game last Wednesady. Defense will be key for the Tigers to make a playoff run this week.

Hutchinson’s girls hockey team wrapped up its regular season with a win last week, taking down Minnesota River 4-1 Saturday. With the win and two other losses last week, the Tigers finished with a 7-11 overall record and 5-7 in the Wright County Conference for a fifth-place finish in the standings.

Hutchinson goalie Hannah Ladwig just missed making history with her 12th career shutout against Minnesota River. She currently sits at 11 and is tied with Jamie Ellig, a 2004 Hutchinson graduate, as the team’s all-time career leader in shutouts.

Ladwig still has a chance to overtake Ellig as the all-time leader if she can shut out a team in playoffs, and her first opportunity was Tuesday against Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato. This issue of the Leader went to press before that game was played.

The Tigers, No. 4 seeds, hosted the Dragons, the No. 5 seeds, in the first round of playoffs after sweeping LDC in a pair of 3-1 games in the regular season. The games get tougher after that round, however, as the winner moves on to the section semifinal to face the top seed, Mound-Westonka/WM/SWC. That game is 7 p.m. Thursday at Thaler Arena.

Hutchinson has played up and down with the White Hawks this year, losing 7-0 earlier this season but then holding them close for a 4-3 loss in March. The Tigers were outshot in both games by nearly 30 shots, so they'll need a strong defensive showing to give them a chance if they face Mound.

If the Tigers can win both games, they'll advance to the championship at 7 p.m. Saturday for a shot to defend their Section 2A title.

Hutchinson 4, Minnesota River 1 (March 13)

Hutchinson … 1 2 1

MN River …… 0 1 0

First period: H—Maddy Seifert 3:13

Second period: H—Ellie Campbell (Maddy Seifert) 8:57; H—Morgan Briggman (Hailee Martin) 12:29; MR—Nicole McCabe (Anna Pavlo) 16:59

Third period: H—Paige Telecky (Jolynn Hauan) 10:32

PP: Hutch 0/0; MR 0/1

Shots: Hutch 43 (16-13-14); MR 18 (1-6-11)

Saves: H—Hannah Ladwig 17/18; MR—Amelia Messer 39/43

Gentry Academy 6, Hutchinson 1 (March 10)

Gentry A ……. 3 2 1

Hutchinson … 1 0 0

First period: H—Hailee Martin (Kohle Fitterer) 8:22; GA—Audrey Jackson 11:02; GA—Alexa Hanrahan (Campbell Heger, Rachel Agerter) 13:02; GA—Angelina Ruiz (Cara Sajevic) 15:06

Second period: GA—Jackson (Kaylie Prater) 6:04; GA—Jenessa Gazdik (Riley Reeves) 7:24

Third period: GA—Sajevic (Skylar Salscheider) 16:48, PP

PP: Hutch 0/2; GA 1/5

Shots: Hutch 18 (4-6-8); GA 56 (17-17-22)

Saves: H—Hannah Ladwig 50/56; GA—Rylee Bartizal 17/18

Orono 3, Hutchinson 2 (March 8)

Hutchinson … 0 1 1

Orono ……….. 0 1 2

First period: No goals

Second period: H—Maddy Seifert (Ellie Campbell) 3:55; O—Zoe Lopez (Jillian Cook) 7:58

Third period: O—Lopez (Iyla Ryskamp, Kaeli Koopman) 9:53; O—Ryskamp (Alexa Niccum) 11:38, PP; H—Seifert 13:18

PP: Hutch 0/6; O 1/3

Shots: Hutch 19 (7-7-5); O 55 (9-20-26)

Saves: H—Hannah Ladwig 52/55; O—Celia Dahl 17/19