With pure numbers on its side, big things are expected of the Owatonna girls hockey team this season.

The Huskies’ first step on Thursday night did nothing but affirm these lofty expectations.

Scoring a flurry of goals in the first and third periods and receiving contributions from a number of players, OHS soared to an 11-0 Big Nine Conference victory over Rochester Century to open the season at the Four Seasons Centre in Owatonna.

Retaining the majority of last season’s team that won 11 games and finished in the upper half of the final league standings, the still youthful Huskies showed some major skill and maturation against the Panthers, ringing the bell 10 times in the first and third periods combined while finishing with an eye-popping 49-2 advantage in shots-on-goal.

Chloe Schmidt and Calbey Podein paced the Huskies with three points apiece as the pair each found the back of the net twice and handed out one assist.

Syd Hunst, Molly Achterkirch, Grace Wolfe, Olivia Herzog, Anna Herzog and Ezra Oien also registered two points apiece with Hunst, Achterkirch, Wolfe, Olivia Herzog, Oien each found the back of the net. Gabi Lamont and Samatha Bogen also scored one goal while Anna Herzog finished with two assists.

Podein got the party started early in the first, tallying what technically amounted to the game-winning goal on an unassisted shot just 91 seconds after the opening face-off.

After Oien made it 2-0 on an assist from Wolfe at the 6:48-mark, the relentless and equal-opportunity Huskies’ offense buried three back-breaking goals in the final five minutes of the opening period —one apiece from Wolfe, Olivia Herzog and Podein.

Samantha Bogen tallied the only point of the second period on an assisted goal from Kaelyn Frear-Boerner and Anna Holcomb to make it 6-0.

With the game well in hand, OHS didn’t relent in the third period and rang the bell another five times to cement the final score.

Schmidt registered both of her goals in the third period while Lamont, Achterkirch and Hunst also found the back of the net.

The win moves the Huskies to 1-0 for the sixth time in seven years. They will be back in action on Saturday at Rochester Mayo for a Big Nine Conference game at 7:30 p.m. The Spartans opened their season with a convincing 7-3 victory over Class A Waseca on Thursday. Last season, Owatonna finished 1-0-1 against Mayo.

Next week, the Huskies will continue their season-opening conference slate with games against Mankato East on Tuesday, Nov. 19 and Saturday, Nov. 23 against Mankato West. Their first nonconference game is not until Saturday, Nov. 30 against Dodge County.

OWATONA 11, CENTURY 0

FIRST PERIOD

O—Calbey Podein, 1:31

O—Ezra Oien (Grace Wolfe), 6:48

O—Wolfe, 12:05

O—Olivia Herzog (Anna Herzog, Podein), 12:53

O—Podein (Olivia Herzog, Anna Herzog), 16:56

SECOND PERIOD

O—Samatha Bogen (Kaelyn Frear-Boerner, Anna Holcomb), 7:48

THIRD PERIOD

O—Chloe Schmidt (Syd Hunst), 0:55

O—Gabi Lamont (Achterkirch), 3:50

O—Schmidt (Oien), 12:30

O—Achterkirch (Macy Stanton), 14:30

O—Hunst (Schmidt), 16:00

Owatonna goalie: Asia Buryska (2 saves)

Reach sports editor Jon Weisbrod at 444-2375, or follow him on Twitter.com @OPPJonW

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