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Donovan's dominance leads Irondale Knights

Sunshine came softly through Samantha Donovan's window Saturday night as she scored a hat trick and assisted on two other goals to lead the Irondale Knights to a 9-1 win over the St. Louis Park Orioles Saturday night at The Rec Center.

Donovan, the Twin City area's leading scorer with 32 goals going into Saturday's game, scored both first period goals. Her first goal came after she rebounded Alex Toupal's missed shot and the second was a power play goal from the right point.

In the second period, it was Toupal who tallied for Irondale after she got a pass from Maddie Hentges. Their second goal came on a flurry in front of St. Louis Park goalie Peyton Stafne and on the third attempt, Meghan Pieper put it between the pipes. Donovan would get her hat trick on a pass from Toupal and she fired the puck top shelf into the net. The Knights would go up by six when Megan Lyke scored on a rebound.

Irondale advance the score to seven :30 into the third period as Toupal's shot bounced into the net. Their second goal would come from a player brought up from the junior varsity team, Sydney Monn and she proved she belonged on the varsity when she scored from the right point. Mari Erickson's goal would boost the Knights lead to nine but there would be no shut out for the New Brighton school when Molly Arntson drove down the right side like a car head down Belt Line Blvd. and put the Orioles on the board.

Donovan, now with 35 goals this season will be headed to Rhode Island next season to play at Brown. She chose the Providence based school because she liked the area as well as the education and hockey.

Irondale head coach Tom Rodefeld has coached Donovan since she was a seventh grader and commented on having a player of her caliber contribute a lot to the team.

"You dream to have play makers like Samantha Donovan come into your program," he said.

The Knights increase their record to 16-5 and will head to Circle Pines to take on the Centennial Cougars on Tuesday, January 21 at 7 PM at the Centennial Sports Arena. The Orioles fell to 3-17-1 and return to action on Wednesday, January 22 against the Totino-Grace Eagles in a 7 PM game at the Parade Ice Garden in Minneapolis.