He got the answer he was hoping for.
“Our girls responded well. That was the big thing for us,” Hunst said. “Sometimes panic sets in when the home team comes roaring back. It was a hard-fought battle.”
Controlling the puck and patrolling the net, unbeaten Owatonna (3-0, 2-0 Big Nine) outshot Mayo 35-15 and flexed a balanced scoring-attack.
After a defensive-laced first period, Paige Radue opened the scoring when she buried home a goal at 1 minute, 7 seconds in the second period. Sawyer, coming off a hat-trick last Saturday, followed suit on a power play goal at the 10-minute mark of the third.
“It was huge to get up that second goal,” Hunst said. “She was able to keep the shot just under the crossbar and put us up 2-0.”
Mayo countered three minutes later on a rush at the net, resulting in a flick of the wrist rebound by Bethany Gibson to cut the deficit to 2-1.
“It was a scramble goal, but a hard hustle goal,” Hunst said. “They found a way to battle back.”
But the Huskies wouldn’t let the Spartans get any closer. At 14:19 in the third, Bogen finished off a string of passes from Sawyer and Rethemeier to make for the 3-1 count.
“Meghan jarred the puck loose to Abby. Most of the time Abby is the shooter and going to take the shot,” Hunst said, “so they (Mayo) were preparing for that, and she (Abby) slid it to Jenna who finished.
“There was a lot of unselfish play tonight. If we continue to do that we’re going to be very successful this year.”
On the other end, Owatonna goalie Jessica Cole finished with 15 saves.
Owatonna is back on the road Saturday at Faribault for a 7:30 p.m. contest.
Owatonna 3, Mayo 1
OHS 0 1 2
RM 0 0 1
O-Paige Radue, 1:07
O-Abby Sawyer, 10:00
RM-Bethany Gibson (Brooke Haskins), 12:58
O-Jenna Bogen (Sawyer, Meghan Rethemeier), 14:19
Shots: Owatonna 35, Mayo 12
Saves: Owatonna, Jessica Cole 14
Reach sports editor Kaleb Roedel at 444-2374, or follow him on Twitter.com @OPPKaleb