Better Bluejackets outshoot the Rebels
CLOQUET -- Even Moose Lake Area's acrobatic netminder Kaitlyn Greene couldn't stop Hibbing/Chisholm's biggest advantage Tuesday evening. Their momentum. Greene stopped a game-best 29 shots, but it wasn't enough as the Bluejackets buried three sec...
CLOQUET -- Even Moose Lake Area's acrobatic netminder Kaitlyn Greene couldn't stop Hibbing/Chisholm's biggest advantage Tuesday evening.
Greene stopped a game-best 29 shots, but it wasn't enough as the Bluejackets buried three second-period goals en route to a 3-1 victory over the Rebels in a Section 7A semifinal girls hockey game Tuesday night at Northwoods Credit Union Arena in Cloquet.
Katie Dye scored two power play goals within 30 seconds and Maddy Roberts added another five minutes later to break a scoreless tie and head No. 12 Hibbing/Chisholm (17-9) into Friday's championship game against ninth-ranked Proctor/Hermantown (18-6-1).
"They scored two quick ones, added another, and that made it tough for us to come back after that," a teary-eyed Greene, a senior, said afterward. "Hibbing is good, no doubt about it. We gave it our all against them, but I guess our all wasn't our best tonight."
The Bluejackets bested the Rebels 7-2 in Hibbing back in December and again had the advantage Tuesday. Outshooting MLA 32-13, Hibbing/Chisholm attacked constantly. After a scoreless first period, two consecutive Rebels' penalties led to Dye's pair of power play goals. Roberts then slipped the puck past Greene's left pad to make things 3-0 shortly before the third.
Junior Andrea Youngberg scored her 15th goal of the year during the final frame for MLA, as eighth-grade teammate Jessica Bird marked her team-leading 37th point on the assist. Greene left the net in the last minute of play, but the Rebels never rallied.
"We were all very nervous for this one," Youngberg said. "Hibbing was fast, passed well - just good all the way around."
"Hibbing always puts a quality team on the ice," said seventh-year MLA Coach Joe Mohelsky. "Our girls worked hard and gave it their best, but I guess tonight, Hibbing was the better team."
Longtime Bluejackets Coach Pete Hyduke, now in his 35th season coaching both boys and girls hockey, noted Tuesday's game was a fight like their first match. He credited the Rebels.
"All three of our goals were deep-point, misdirection shots," Hyduke said. "We knew Moose Lake was going to leave it all on the ice. We surely had to earn everything we got here tonight."
"One thing we did was we never gave up. We kept pushing all night," Mohelsky added. "And if we continue to do that - no matter what the scoreboard says - it's a successful night."
Afterward, though tearful, many players for MLA (14-10-3) said it was the finest season they've played together over time.
"It really hurts to fall short; now it's all over," said senior defenseman Hannah Dougherty, closing a six-year varsity career.
"It's been a great ride," Greene said. "It's something I'll miss."
"It's hard, but it's the best season we've had," added senior forward Erin Mollberg. "There will be more games without us, but they'll do well. And I'll be there to watch. These girls mean a lot."