Mirage put Rebels’ postseason on ice
CLOQUET—Traveling from her home in Sandstone to play hockey in Moose Lake, goaltender Cassie White said playing for the Rebels was well worth the miles.
White helped drive the Moose Lake Area program to new heights this winter; however, it wasn’t enough in the Rebels’ 5-2 loss to Proctor-Hermantown in a Section 7A semifinal Tuesday night at Northwoods Credit Union Arena in Cloquet.
White, a senior at East Central High School who had 25 saves, was perhaps the most emotional after the season-ending defeat, knowing a career that began in eighth grade is done.
“We’ve grown as a family since day one,” said an emotional White outside the locker room. “To come here from where we have all started — looking back it’s just awesome.”
Awesome would fit this season for the Rebels (16-9-2), marking a program-best 16 wins and even beating the Mirage for the first time in MLA Coach Joe Mohelsky’s eight years.
That wasn’t the case Tuesday, though, as top-seeded Proctor-Hermantown avenged their previous 6-4 defeat in Moose Lake on Jan. 23 by never trailing in this meeting.
The Mirage (16-10), which will face Hibbing-Chisholm Friday in a Section 7A final rematch they lost last year, were led by Sophie McGovern’s two goals, while Bemidji State University recruit Reilly Fawcett added a goal and two assists in backing 20 saves from netminder Kylie Hommerding.
An entertaining second period of 25 combined shots and five total goals saw Moose Lake’s Asia Gobel tie things 1-1 — followed by a roar of Rebels fans — while she credited an assist on Barnum’s Jessica Bird’s goal to make it 4-2 entering the third period, but it never got any closer to another upset.
“We knew we had to play our best hockey to be able to compete with them,” Mohelsky said of Proctor-Hermantown.
Mirage Coach Glen Gilderman praised pesky MLA.
“Every time we play them, they never give up,” he said. “They’re a scrappy bunch that plays hard and plays clean.”
The Rebels played their final faceoff with all three seniors — White, Andrea Youngberg and Haley Radel — on the ice.
“It’s been one of the best memories of my life,” said a teary-eyed Youngberg of her high school hockey career.
“We’ll miss it, I think everybody will,” added Radel, also a fifth-year varsity player. “You win some, you lose some.”
Not according to Mohelsky, when considering his seniors.
“Our future looks bright, but without those three, this season wouldn’t be possible,” he said. “They left their mark.”
Including the many mile markers White drove past to play.
“I wouldn’t change it for the world,” she said, through tears.