CEC upsets Hibbing-Chisholm 5-1Saturday night, the team fell 5-0 to a very good Benilde-St. Margaret’s team at the Cloquet Area Recreation Center, but then rebounded on Tuesday to knock off perennial power Hibbing-Chisholm 5-1 away from home to improve to 4-3-1 on the season.
By: Jeff Papas, Pine Journal
For the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls hockey team, ups and downs can come in close proximity.
Saturday night, the team fell 5-0 to a very good Benilde-St. Margaret’s team at the Cloquet Area Recreation Center, but then rebounded on Tuesday to knock off perennial power Hibbing-Chisholm 5-1 away from home to improve to 4-3-1 on the season.
Against the Knights, not much went right. Benilde got goals from five different players and 19 saves in goal from Abbey Miller for the shutout.
Katie Beckman made 20 saves for CEC in goal.
Tuesday night, though, the ’Jacks were in a different class in a 5-1 win.
“[The Hibbing game] was the opposite of Saturday,” coach Mike Bushey said. “The kids played very well and we played with intensity and enthusiasm. We continue to get better. I think we learned a lot on Saturday and we applied it Tuesday.”
The Benilde game was a real education for CEC.
“We have to show up right away,” Bushey said. “If we do that, and play the style of hockey we are known for which is to take away time and space, we can play with anyone. If we don’t, it’s 5-0 like Saturday.
“Benilde was good,” Bushey added. “They are the best we’ve seen and we played Eden Prairie and Stillwater as well. We struggled for two periods, but in the third we turned it around and the puck hardly came out of their zone. I’m happy it ended that way, that we responded well. But we have to learn from that.”
The old cliché is that the world is run by those who show up, and CEC certainly did on Tuesday.
“We won the battles, all the cliché stuff,” Bushey said. “Yet it is the reality of our game and most sports. We did the little things well. You can make mistakes but if you work hard, good things will happen.”
The growing process for Bushey’s young ’Jacks has been rewarding, if occasionally
“We have a great group of kids,” he said. “They work hard, they’re excited and they love to play the game. In order to be a top tier team, we all know that sometimes you have to make a conscious decision to work that hard, and it becomes habit. It becomes intuitive, a matter of playing and practicing.”
Bushey has also been pleased with the team’s play from the goal outward.
“Our goaltending has been outstanding,” he said. “We have two kids with no varsity experience and they have done precisely what we have asked them to do – they make the big saves and the saves they are supposed to make, too. We couldn’t ask for better. They’ve learned something every game, and it’s invaluable to get the experience and play well enough to gain confidence at the same time.”
CEC will play Proctor-Hermantown-Marshall on Thursday and then Wayzata on Saturday.
“It’s going to be busy,” Bushey said. “Closer to the holidays we play a week from Friday against Elk River, which is a section game and always a good measuring stick for the kids. We want to continue to get better.”