Emme Nelson (right) celebrates after scoring for Mahtomedi on Tuesday night.
Watch Mahtomedi's Lauren Hamme during a game, and you'll notice she never stands completely straight until the period is over.
Hamme's hunched, focused. She's in a position to stop whatever comes her way in an attempt to avoid the collapse of the season's first game, in which the Zephyrs coughed up a 3-0 lead in a 4-3 overtime loss to White Bear Lake on Nov. 7.
Since then, Hamme has won four straight games, allowing just three goals in that span, as the Zephyrs out-slugged Rochester Lourdes 4-1 on Tuesday night to move to 4-1 on the season.
"First game, she struggled a little bit," Mahtomedi head coach Bill Mauricio said after the game of Hamme, adding that extra time spent in practice has made all the difference for Hamme. "She's fixed things that needed fixing, and she's been better because she's willing to listen to our (goalie) coach and be coachable," Mauricio said.
The senior netminder stopped 20 of 21 shots in Tuesday's win and said that part of her added training has been to tame the rebounds with which she has self-admittedly struggled.
"Before this year, I was scrambling a lot," Hamme said. "Another thing I've been working on is making sure I don't just put stick saves right out in the slot," Hamme said. "I have a bad habit of doing that."
Lauren Hamme stopped 20 of 21 shots for Mahtomedi in Tuesday's win over Rochester Lourdes.
No such habits reared their ugly head in the win over the previously-undefeated Eagles (4-1), ranked No. 3 in the most recent Youth Hockey Hub Staff Rankings.
Rochester Lourdes defender and Boston University verbal commit Maggie Hanzel scored on a power play at the 10:19 mark of the first period, but the Zephyrs responded with a pair of goals in both the second and third frames to earn the victory.
Erika Broten and Emme Nelson scored once each in the second for the Zephyrs, with defender Megan Johnson scoring both goals in the third. The Eagles struggled offensively, failing to convert on two of three power plays and a pair of two-on-one chances in the second period. Playing without leading scorer Sarah Dravis, who missed the game due to a disqualification in the previous contest, also hurt the Eagles.
While a win over an undefeated team and the fourth consecutive conquest are nice, Mauricio says that his team has much more room to play more effectively.
"Simply, we weren't at our best tonight," Mauricio said, acknowledging that neither team showed much spark in front of a sleepy St. Croix Valley Rec Center crowd.
"This wasn't the best we will play, and I guarantee (Rochester Lourdes head coach Jeff True) is gonna say the same thing," Mauricio said with a chuckle.
Mahtomedi gets the chance to continue its winning ways with a game against Rosemount on Thursday, while Rochester Lourdes next takes the ice on Saturday against No. 2-A Breck.
Maggie Hanzel scored the only goal of the game for Rochester Lourdes in Tuesday's loss.