Area hockey teams keep busy over break
In its first game since taking third place in the Coon Rapids holiday tournament, the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls hockey team suffered a 5-0 defeat at the hands of the Duluth Northern Stars at Northwoods Credit Union Arena last Saturday night.
The ’Jacks (4-9-2) were outshot 29-20 by the Northern Stars but fell behind 3-0 in the first period and never recovered.
Alexia Klaas, Christina Enright and Ava Meyer staked the visitors to that 3-0 lead, and goals from Abby LaFlamme in the second period and Enright again in the third period sealed CEC’s fate.
Kaylen Henricksen earned the shutout in goal for Duluth with Stacy Nelson stopping 24 of 29 shots in goal for the ’Jacks.
CEC’s Tuesday night game at Superior was postponed due to frigid temperatures, so the team is in action next on Saturday, Jan. 11, at Benilde St.-Margaret’s.
Meanwhile, the CEC boys fell at Grand Rapids last Thursday night and then rallied to knock off St. Francis in a Section 7AA game on Saturday.
Both games against the Thunderhawks ended in ties a season ago, but the ’Jacks fell 5-1 this time. Despite outshooting Grand Rapids 17-7 in the first period and 34-30 for the game, CEC got nothing to show for their efforts until Koby Bender’s power-play goal with 2:31 to play in the game.
Five different Thunderhawks scored goals with defenseman Daulton Anderson picking up four assists and Mr. Hockey candidate Avery Peterson getting two.
Zack Strom stopped 25 of 30 Grand Rapids shots in goal for the ’Jacks.
“Their goaltender (Grand Rapids senior Hunter Shepard) was the best goalie we’ve seen, easily,” CEC Coach Dave Esse said. “We get 17 shots on their rink in the first period and don’t score. We could have been up 6-2, 7-2, 8-2 after two periods. We had great chances, odd man rushes — you name it, he stopped it. Goalies can’t always win you games because they can’t score, but they can sure lose you a game and Shepard was great.”
Saturday night, the ’Jacks had better luck, scoring six times on just 22 shots to beat the Saints in East Bethel.
Nick Niemi’s first-period power-play goal was sandwiched between goals from Kyle Carrigan and Lukas Abraham for St. Francis, and CEC trailed 2-1 six minutes into the game. Strom allowed two goals on five shots and was replaced by Eric Newman, who stopped 17 of 20 shots the rest of the way.
But Christian Pritchett, Tyler Chicos and James Newgren added goals 2:48 apart later in the period and the ’Jacks took a 4-2 lead to the intermission, and would never trail again. Chicos’ goal was his first for the varsity.
“I thought we were going to run away with it after the first period,” Esse said. “But it was a weird game after that. They shot at the net and a puck ricochets-in off a stick. Every time a team made a mistake, it wound up in their net. I’m glad we won the game, but I was disappointed we were in that situation.”
The teams traded goals after that. Newgren balanced out Kyle Wagner’s goal in the second period to give CEC a 5-3 lead, but Ben Falk’s late goal for the Saints made it 5-4 after periods.
CEC managed only two shots in the third period, but was one Pritchett’s, and he scored the eventual game-winning goal at 2:30 of the session. Falk’s goal with 1:35 left set up a wild finish but CEC held on for the win.
“I give St. Francis a lot of credit,” Esse said. “They had about 12 skaters for whatever reason, and had a very short bench, but they worked extremely hard. We got goals from Christian that were great; Chicos scored his first goal on varsity, and Newgren scored two goals while he had the flu and didn’t say anything to anyone until the third period.”
The ’Jacks (5-8-1) had a Tuesday game at Hibbing cancelled by weather and are scheduled to play at Eden Prairie on Friday night before hosting Grand Rapids again Tuesday, Jan. 14.
The Moose Lake Area girls went 3-1 over the New Year’s week, raising their record to 9-6-2, the best among area teams.
The Rebels began their holiday period with a 3-0 loss to East Ridge in the Schwan’s Super Tournament on Dec. 30.
After that contest, though, the Rebels stormed back to claim the consolation championship in their bracket, defeating Pequot Lakes and Hudson on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, respectively.
Against Pequot Lakes, a four-goal second period did the trick and the Rebels had the game into running time in the third period.
Jamie and Jessica Bird scored the team’s first two goals, with Cheyanne Wilson, Karina Cisar and Jessica Bird making it 5-0 Rebels after two periods.
Sage Gerard made it 6-0 in the third period before Lexi Danielson wrecked Cassie White’s bid for a shutout with 44 seconds to play. White stopped 19 of the 20 shots she faced in the game.
The next day, the Rebels beat Hudson 3-2. Asia Gobel opened the scoring in the first period and added a second goal at 3:23 of the second for the team’s second goal of the game. Jessica Paull made it 3-1 after two periods with a power-play goal and the Rebels held on for the win. Maddy Gamst stopped 18 of 20 shots in goal for the win.
On Jan. 4, the Rebels built a 3-0 lead, almost lost it, and held on to beat WSFLG Blizzard 5-3 in Grantsburg, Wis.
Wilson, Kiersten Evenson and Andrea Youngberg staked the Rebels to a 3-0 lead but the Blizzard closed within 3-2 in the second period before Jessica Bird scored a shorthanded goal at 4:06 of the third period to make it 4-2. Bird added one more goal for the final margin of 5-3, with White stopping 20 of 23 shots in goal. The Rebels play at Silver Bay on Thursday night.
Meanwhile, in the game following their first win since February 2012, the Moose Lake Area boys hockey team faced the team they last beat — Mora-Hinckley-Finlayson.
The Mustangs (7-4-0) scored three goals in the first period, but the Rebels hung tough after that, falling 3-0 at Riverside Arena last Friday night.
Mora dominated the first period, outshooting the Rebels 23-1 and scoring all three of their goals, but the Rebels were shorthanded for nearly nine minutes including a five-minute shorthanded situation.
After the first period, the Rebels were outshot 24-19 with Gage Mohelsky stopping all 24 shots after the first period.
Mohelsky made 44 saves on 47 Mustang shots in the game.
Tuesday’s scheduled game with Pine City was postponed due to weather, but the team is scheduled to play Thursday night against Northern Lakes at Riverside Arena.