CEC splits with tough metro-area teams
Anyone who knows the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls hockey team knows they never shirk from a tough schedule. Friday and Saturday the Jacks opened on the road at number No. 12-ranked Benilde-St. Margaret's and No. 2 Stillwater. CEC picked up a split ...
Anyone who knows the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls hockey team knows they never shirk from a tough schedule. Friday and Saturday the Jacks opened on the road at number No. 12-ranked Benilde-St. Margaret's and No. 2 Stillwater. CEC picked up a split on the weekend and in the process found out a lot about their team.
"This is a very difficult schedule to start, but it clearly shows our warts," said CEC coach Dick Bartholdi. "We got a look at some people and have a much better idea of what we need to work on."
The Jacks trailed Benilde-St. Margaret 2-1 entering the final period on Friday night, but they turned up the intensity in the final stanza and came away with an impressive 4-2 win.
"Benilde always has a great team," commented Bartholdi. "They manage to always field a complete hockey team with good depth. Our girls showed great character and they are getting great leadership from our seniors and other leaders."
Sarah Gustafson had an impressive day in goal for the Jacks by turning aside 29 of 31 shots by Benilde-St. Margaret's.
"It was important for Sarah to shut the door and allow the comeback to happen," mentioned Bartholdi. "The game was what the coaches expected as the first game of the season and an eye-opening experience for those tasting varsity action for the first time."
Katie Lamirande scored for the Jacks on the power play while Courtney Esse, Sadie Lundquist and Melissa Clark also scored for CEC.
Saturday night saw the Stillwater Ponies come out flying in the first period as they put CEC in a hole early and came away with a 5-2 win over the Jacks.
"They absolutely overwhelmed us in the first period with a great deal of help from the men in stripes," remarked Bartholdi. "Their rink has no corner and a they are a hard-working forechecking team that pinned us in good. They have most of their forwards back from their state championship team two years ago."
After struggling in the first period, the Jacks were able to stabilize things in the second and then they put together a strong third period.
"The coaches made their usual speeches in the locker room between periods, but the players motivated themselves to play an even second and third period which saw us hold a great team like Stillwater to just four shots," explained Bartholdi. "A real positive besides the character this team has shown our ability to be so strong in the third period. The credit goes to Todd Herron of Anytime Fitness and the work the girls did all summer and so far into the season."
Nicole Lund had a strong game in goal for CEC, finishing with 22 saves on 27 shots, while the Jacks scoring came from Lundquist and Esse.
CEC will host their first Thanksgiving Tournament this Friday and Saturday. The Jacks will play at 8 p.m. Friday and play will continue on Saturday.