Taylor Nelson notched her seventh hat trick of the season to help Cloquet-Esko-Carlton to a 5-1 victory over Hibbing-Chisholm in a Section 7A semifinal Saturday at St. Luke’s Events Center in Proctor.

Nelson scored twice in the first period and another in the third to give her a Northland-leading 43 this season.

The top-seeded Lumberjacks (24-3), winners of six in a row, will meet No. 2 seed Proctor-Hermantown in Wednesday’s championship game at Proctor.

The Mirage (19-8) blanked Duluth Marshall 4-0 in the other semifinal as Michaela Phinney scored two of her team’s four second-period goals. Abby Pajari posted an 18-save shutout and Aurora Opsahl had three assists.

Junior goalie Charlesa Prior had 44 saves to lead the Hilltoppers (14-9-2).


Duluth Denfeld 2, Sartell 1

Connor McClure and Cole Olson scored goals and goaltender Shawn Easty made 39 saves for the visiting Hunters, who overcame a tough loss the night before to edge Sartell-St. Stephen.

Class AA seventh-ranked Denfeld (17-5-1) gave up four goals Friday night to lose 6-4 to No. 9 Alexandria Area.

Champlin Park 2, Duluth East 1

A night after winning despite being outshot 46-15, the Greyhounds were outshot by a 2-to-1 margin and lost at Heritage Center.

Roy Johnson scored a power-play goal with 6.0 seconds remaining in regulation to put East (9-11-2) two games under .500. The Greyhounds haven’t had a losing season in 67 years.

Konrad Kausch, who made 45 saves in a 2-1 victory over No. 10 Maple Grove on Friday night, had 30 stops against the Rebels.

Grand Rapids 3, Maple Grove 0

Thunderhawks goalie Carter Clafton continued to excel with a 30-save shutout at the IRA Civic Center.

Braeden Holcomb scored twice for Grand Rapids (15-7-1), which has won five consecutive games and allowed only six goals in its last nine games.

Clafton, who has played all but 34 minutes in goal for the Thunderhawks this season, lowered his goals-against average to 1.73 and raised his save percentage to 92.8.

CEC 6, White Bear Lake 2

Darian Durand netted a pair of goals and Jacob Walsh turned aside 35 shots to lead the host Lumberjacks to the nonconference win.


Cromwell-Wright 59, MIB 46

Senior guard Taya Hakamaki had 28 points as the visiting Cardinals, ranked second in Class A, downed the fifth-ranked Rangers.

Shaily Hakamaki added 13 points and Natalee Hakamaki chipped in nine points as Cromwell-Wright (19-2) won its fifth straight. The Cardinals helped keep the Rangers at bay by going 16-for-16 from the free-throw line.

Mia Ganyo (12 points) and Sage Ganyo (10) scored in double figures to lead Mountain Iron-Buhl (15-6).

Proctor 83, Roseau 79

Sam Parendo led five Rails in double figures with 17 points and host Proctor outscored the Rams 9-5 in overtime to win the nonconference game.

Katie Borowicz scored 43 points and hit nine 3-pointers for Roseau, which trailed by five at halftime before rallying to send the game to an extra session.


Denfeld coach steps down

Cal Fougner, who guided Duluth Denfeld to its first state tournament appearance in 65 years last spring, stepped down as head coach Saturday to take an assistant coaching position at Valley City (N.D.) State.

“Being able to watch @DenfeldHuntBase grow into what it is has been such a rewarding experience for me — one that has truly shaped who I am as a coach and as a person,” Fougner said on Twitter.

The Hunters won Section 7AAA last June before falling 5-4 to Monticello in a Class AAA quarterfinal in Minneapolis.