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Moose Lake Area girls moving up

Moose Lake Area goaltender Kaitlyn Greene denies Proctor-Hermantown's Madison Baker, making one of her 31 saves against the Rails on Friday night at Riverside Arena in Moose Lake. Proctor-Hermantown topped the Rebels 3-1. Dave Harwig/Pine Journal1 / 3
Moose Lake Area's Jessica Bird celebrates her goal vs. Proctor/Hermantown on Friday at Riverside Arena in Moose Lake.2 / 3
Moose Lake Area's Georgia Ryan carries the puck past Proctor/Hermantown's Brielle Larson during the girls hockey game Friday in Moose Lake.3 / 3

The Moose Lake Area girls hockey team has won four of its first six contests this season and has high hopes not only for this season, but for the future as well.

The Rebels (4-2-0) defeated Pequot Lakes for the second time this season, 2-1 at Breezy Point last Thursday night, before falling 3-1 at home to Proctor-Hermantown on Friday at Riverside Arena.

"I think they are going really well," Coach Joe Mohelsky said. "The girls seem to be getting along really well and playing hard together, our seniors have been really good leaders on and off the ice, and we have a good group of eighth-graders coming up to supplement our scoring."

The team's eighth-graders won the Class B state tournament last season as U-12 players, so there's plenty of reason to smile for the varsity in seasons to come.

"(Eighth-grader) Jessica Bird had a hat trick against Minnehaha," Mohelsky said. "It feels good to have the young players coming up because they know how to compete and win hockey games."

Bird and Andrea Youngberg had the team's goals against Pequot Lakes while Bird had the team's only goal against Proctor-Hermantown as well. Kaitlyn Greene made 76 saves combined in the two games.

"Our goaltending has been outstanding," Mohelsky said. "Right now Kaitlyn is at about a 93 percent save percentage. If she sees [the puck], she can stop it."

"[Greene] has really stepped up over the last couple of seasons," Mohelsky continued. "Everyone looks to the goaltender for that glue that binds the team together. They say goaltending can win championships and she can get us there."

Due to the influx of higher numbers of young players, the senior high team is in very good shape.

"We have 26 rostered players, which is the most in my seven years of coaching," Mohelsky said. "When we have lots of young talent they push the older players. As a team, that improves all of us. We're getting better and stronger."

Lumberjacks split games

The Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls team split two games last week, losing at home to Benilde-St. Margaret's and rebounding to defeat Hibbing-Chisholm.

The 'Jacks opened the scoring against the Knights on Saturday night with Mikalya Baker scoring just 3:26 into the contest, but that was as good as it got for CEC. Benilde-St. Margaret's scored the final five goals and outshot CEC 47-12 for the contest. Alyssa Acheson stopped 42 of 47 shots in goal for CEC.

On Tuesday night things were better, as CEC got two goals from Rachel Macaulay and three assists from Emily Gustafson to defeat the Bluejackets.

Macaulay scored in the first period and on the power play in the second before Makayla Langenbrunner made it 3-0 on another second-period power play.

Ashley Krisak scored the other CEC goal, with Katie Beckman making 20 saves on 21 shots in the Jacks' goal.

The 'Jacks (3-3-1) are at Proctor-Hermantown Thursday night and at Wayzata on Saturday.