Almost Too Much Fun To Comprehend!

. . . So, we had Components, The Cheese Bots, Girls’ Hockey, Al & Terry, Lisa Lynn, Girls’ Basketball, The Second City Touring Group, Rachel Banham’s 60-point game (OK, we watched than on TV) . . . let the good times roll!!

Components @ SAWA, January 29

[Bill Engebretson – drums, Dave Strom – keyboard, Marty Sarlette -sax, and Craig Peterson – bass]

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The Cheese Bots @ SAWA, January 30

[Marty “Longhorn Colby” Sarlette – saxes/bongos; Lindy “Limburger” Pederson – guitar/vocals, Jim “Fromage du Jour” LaRocque, guitar/bass/vocals – so we had the saxy guy two nights in a row!]

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[Known near and far as fans of hockey and music.  We created new Cheese Bots fans on this night!]

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[And the Super with her favorite 6’6″ guitar player!]

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Bidding adieu to my 68th consecutive January . . .

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February 4

[Big hockey game with St. Cloud – the Cards and Icebreakers have similar conference and overall records.  I tried to photo “stitch” this into the single banner that it is, but my software couldn’t handle it?]

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[The Boys in the Booth.]

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[And now, your Alexandria Cardinals . . . ]

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[Alexis Heckert (20)]

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[McKenna Ellingson (24)]

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[Mari Wosepka (18) . . . apparently was hosting at Doolittle’s after our last foreign film but I missed her.]

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[Lauren Niska (21)]

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[McKenzie Revering (29)]

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[Amy Jost (33)]

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[Super Fan Roger Riley had just wrapped up the Anthem.]

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[And we’re off!  One of my favorite sights on the ice – Rev waving her stick for a pass at the point from where she uncorks slap shots that could hurt someone!]

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[Can just see the “1,” so it could be Lauren, Hanah Hansen (11), or Karina Carlsen (31).]

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[Good even game so far.]

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[Cards of the future (again)!]

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[Starting period 2 on a penalty kill, explaining why “D” Karina (31) is up on the forward line for the face-0ff.]

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[Looks like McKenna . . . ]

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[Here comes Rev – several times she tried to scoot along the boards into the offensive zone only to be thwarted by a linesman or a ref, who were positioned where they were suppose to be (or not to be, that is the question.)]

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[Sam Klimek (37) chases the puck after a face-off.]

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[Looks like another near miss . . . ]

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[Sam followed up deep in the Icebreaker zone while Allison O’Kane (36) manned the point.]

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[OK, spoiler alert!  This was the final score.  Done in by a bugaboo that has haunted them all season (and even more so for the boys’ team, it seems) – too many penalties. Although the St. Cloud goal was technically not a power play, it occurred just as our penalty ended but the 5th skater hadn’t gotten into the play yet.  I believe for the game we had four penalties to their one.  Almost all their shots on goal were during power plays – we had the play advantage when the teams were skating 5-on-5.]

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[Just one of those games . . . Lauren had a terrific offensive game from her defensive position, taking the puck end to end, with good dekes and stick handling, particularly in the 3rd period.  We just couldn’t cash in any of them?]

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[Here comes Alexis (20) . . . ]

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[A not uncommon sight – Cardinals buzzing the net, nothing going in.  Have to credit the Icebreaker goalie and her defense.]

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[Mari often scores when she beats the defense, just not on this night.]

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[And it was over. A good game that would have been better had the score been reversed (we beat them at their place earlier this year).  Sections start next – we are the No. 1 seed!]

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[Terry & Al @ SAWA, after the game.  I was meeting the Super, so I missed the boy’s hockey game that followed the girls’ – similar result, we lost to St. Cloud Cathedral 4 – 0, so no goals for the Cardinals all night?]

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[Bonus coverage from yesteryear . . .  ]

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[And Mel, just because . . . ]

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February 5

[I began the evening with Lisa @ SAWA.  I left the Super behind after the first set for the girls’ basketball game.  I returned in time for her entire 3rd set – no videos because it was too noisy.]

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[I arrived at halftime of the Detroit Lakes game – oy!  Big match up because they beat us at their place in the opening game of the season – we were 0 – 14 for 3’s in that game.  We were playing for section seeding points, which appears to be between us, the Lakers, and Thief River Falls.]

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[The Lakers frontline is 6’10”, 6’10”, and 6’8″ (why do they always have more height than us?) – this is the shortest one of that group (43), she’s a lefty and a good shot.]

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[I was surprised to hear Emma Ziegler (1) was our leading scorer at the half – and with three 3’s.  Not that she isn’t a capable athlete (soccer goalie, softball shortstop), but I don’t recall her even attempting three 3’s before?  She usually specializes in ballhandling and defense . . . another scorer is always nice though!]

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[Also in the photo, Jon Mulder, referee, son of my walking buddy, the Boy Tenor; and the Amazing Mr. Ripley shooting photos of . . . the far wall?]

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[General milling around . . . No. 45 is one of their 6’10” players.]

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[Referee Mulder signals we’re No. 1; Emma Schmidt is one of our tallest players at 5’10”, yet is dwarfed by the surrounding Lakers; the Amazing Mr. Ripley called for a back-up.]

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[This is a shot of a hand railing with game action in the background.]

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[Let’s discuss tonight’s apres game activities?]

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[Appears to have been a game long strategy – Kendall Kohler (3) would shadow whoever was playing point for the Lakers.  Kendall is a good on-ball defender . . . if she can avoid foul trouble (she did in this game).]

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[With Kendall in the far corner, Emma cutting up the middle, our 5’11” center, Kayla Feldhake, considered her options.  Once they left her alone out there – she fired up a rare 3 attempt, and made it.]

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[Kayla also played all-court defense against the Laker center . . . ]

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[Forcing her into a double-team with Zig.]

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[Zig looks for a release to Kelby Olson Rodel (13), while McKenzie Duwenhoegger (35) protects her flank.]

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[Cardinals swarm on defense while the ref counts to “5” to make sure we don’t have more than the allotted five players on the court.]

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[Kendall now D’ing up on No, 15.]

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[Kayla playing D way out to center court as the Cards played an “in your face” man-to-man.]

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[Macy Hatlestad (11) works the old end around with Zig.]

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[Macy in direct alignment with a teammate . . . ]

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[Had to have been Kendall.]

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[Here’s our trick play – while Ref Jon signals ball in, Macy holds the ball overhead while our cheerleader actually calls out the play.  Then the cheerleader runs behind Macy, receives the inbounds pass, and lays it in.  Works every time!]

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[Ye Olde Picket Fence.]

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[OK, you’ve had a good 2nd half, at one point to a 9-point lead.  Now go out and put it away.]

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[Macy on the line . . . ]

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[The first made it a 5-point lead.]

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[The 2nd also tickled the twine.  Macy made 4 key free throws down the stretch – as I recall only one even so much as grazed the rim.]

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[Zig continued her career night – 19 points.]

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[Junior Courtney Gould (53) has been giving us a lot of good minutes lately as a 5’10” frontcourter – nothing but net on this one.]

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[Just missed the 2nd but kept our momentum going.]

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[OK, maybe here was point 19?]

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[I’ve moved to end of the court for a quick getaway back to SAWA.  The Lakers desperately trying to press us.]

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[Zig looking to Kendall while Schmidty sets a screen.]

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[A big plus for us is that our starting guards, Kendall and Macy, must be 80 percent free throw shooters.]

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[Kendall surprisingly missed her 2nd – to run out the clock?]

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[Big win over a good, tall, and good-shooting team.  Great defense holding them to 40 points.]

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February 6

[Expected it to be fun . . . and yet better than we expected.  A rainy night, I think a surprisingly good crowd at the Performing Arts Center.]

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January 7

[The Gopher’s Rachel Banham poured in 60 points against Northwestern in a double overtime win.  Obviously, it was a Gopher and Big Ten scoring record.  We toasted her with a Coppola Claret!  (Strib photo)]

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[And welcome back to the Gophers, Amanda Kessel!]

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When men and women agree, it is only in their conclusions; their reasons are always different.  ~ George Santayana

Up next:  OMG, sections are starting!

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Fergus Falls – 57, Alexandria – 49

January 28

On the day I received my diploma for completing the winter quarter of senior college with a perfect attendance record, our Cardinal boys’ basketball team were hosting the conference leading Fergus Falls Otters.

[Somewhere in this Cardinal fan section is the photographer who garnered a degree of international notoriety for taking the famous picture of the Fat Boys Walking Club.]

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[Incoming Cardinal fans who ultimately decided the grass was greener on the other side of the court.]

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[This was first time I really got a chance to see more than a few minutes of the JV team. All sophomores, they impressed with their size and athletic abilities (back in my day (yeah, I know), sophomores weighed about 130, at most).  A lot of them looked like football players as they obviously have spent time in the weight room.  It appears we have numbers coming up in a lot of sports.]

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[Games such as the one we are about to embark on with the varsity are oft described by coaches as “learning experiences.”  So, I thought I’d disperse some learning experiences throughout . . . ]

[The varsity pre-game huddle where players are advised to tuck in their jerseys.]

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[The beginning of a “bad night” for me.  My photo of the opening tip was delayed by a fan walking through the line of fire.  It happens.]

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[Then, I have no idea what this is?  I don’t remember taking it . . . or of the gym being cast into darkness?  But those are seniors Brayden Admundson (23) and Alec Wensman (25) heading up court.]

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[OK, the gist of the game.  The Otters remind me a lot of the Little Falls team from two years ago.  They look like they’re from the 1950’s?  They are not physically imposing (the Cards much more so), not tall or athletic looking – all they do is play well together and make all their shots.  And, unfortunately, for us and the conference, they are a very young team.  By the time the night was over, the Otters still only had two losses in conference and are 17 – 2 overall.]

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[As Alec shoots a free throw, note No. 11 for the Otters.  Not very big, looks the president of the chess club, but he scored 15 points in the first half, in traffic and out of traffic, over his head and behind his back, it seemed like no matter where he shot from, it’d go in.]

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[Alec had a big first half (they couldn’t match up with him) and really controlled the boards – we had a big rebound advantage – but the Otters double-teamed him the whole 2nd half and we couldn’t get the ball into him.]

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[Oh, more fans – and they’re newly in front of “our” photographer (who appears to have spotted me?).]

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[The game was tied at 10.  Then the Otters made a run to up the lead to 10.  And that’s pretty much where it stayed the whole game.  The Cards had a very bad night shooting the ball – missing bunnies, getting the offensive rebound, and missing again, and never made a ‘3’ the entire game, though there must have been double digit attempts.]

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[Another learning experience . . . ]

[Alec again, I think was his only point in the 2nd half.  The Otters made 18 of 23 free throws (3 misses came late when the outcome was not longer in doubt); the Cards made 7 free throws. They could double-team Alec in the post because we weren’t making any shots from the outside.]

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[It’s a live ball!  We played well and could have won this game with decent shooting.  But that’s why they call it “basketball” – you have to put the ball in the basket!]

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[The Otters also run well, so you’d better hustle back on defense.]

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[Spencer Hockert (15) was shut down in the first half, but as the game was wearing down, he and Jaran Roste continually took the ball to the hoop, and through a variety of spin moves, got the shots up and finally starting to drop.  But then we had to foul at the other end, and the Otters made their free throws.]

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[Roste finished with 20, Hockert 14, and Wensman 11.  Jake Drew (33) provided a real team spark with his defense and rebounding.]

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[It could be interesting if we meet them in sections.]

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[And another learning experience . . . ]

The secret is to have eight great players and four others who will cheer like crazy.  ~
Jerry Tarkanian

[And a final learning experience . . . ]

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Up next:  Music?

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Girls’ Hockey Senior Night

January 26

Let’s get right to it . . .

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It was the last home game of the regular season against dreaded conference and section rivals, the Fergus Falls Otters.

[When we walked in, the JV was leading 7 – 0 halfway through the 2nd period.  They are having a terrific year as I believe their record is now 18 – 2.  And it was good to see that Fergus, another single town team, has enough players to “field” a JV team for three periods . . . it seems our JV has played a number of two period games recently due to a dearth of players for the other teams.]

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[Hmmm, I wonder whether the now retired “Voice” is up in his old perch “WITHOUT PERMISSION”?]

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[Psssst, hey, Mark!  I think that lens is way too big for close-ups?]

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[Seniors and parents introductions about to begin . . . ]

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[The JV looking for good seats for the pre-game festivities.]

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Another year has gone by and again we say good-bye to players we have “known” for three, four, or five years.  We have watched them grow from mac & cheese to worldly people who have traveled the state, played in state tournaments in the big city, and now prefer fois gras.  We have marveled at their strength, endurance, and athletic abilities.  And now they leave to make their marks on the world.  They cry as they bid adieu to a special time in their lives; their parents cry because they know they will soon be losing a tax deduction.  (Not all the photos came out, it’s a long shot across the ice for an older person . . . I can only hope the amazing Mr. Ripley got the good ones.)  Bon voyage, mademoiselles!

[Hanah Hansen]

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[Trihanna Olson]

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[Mackenzie Abrahamson]

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[Lauren Niska]

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[Mari Wosepka]

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[McKenna Schroeder]

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[Sam Klimek]

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[Gerrit Mulder]

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[Taylor Coker]

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[Karina Carlsen]

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[Amy Jost]

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[Ms. Wosepka knocked the Anthem out of the park.  A portent of things to come?]

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[So, the game starts.  Do you think I could get a shot of the six seniors starting on the opening face-off?  Noooo?  The Super Fans must have been discussing the effects of low gas prices on the Euro at the time?  Here’s Ms. Abrahamson in action.]

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[Back on regular shifts, Mari (18) with Alexis Heckert (20) and McKenna Ellingson (24).]

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[Then McKenzie Revering joins the fray.  (Next year it appears we will be down to one McKenzie and one McKenna.)]

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[GOOOOAAAALLLLL!   By Rev, a shot so hard it trickled through the goalie and into the net.  It tied the score at one (the Otters scored on their first shot of the game, as I recall).]

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[Ms. Ellingson with a shot . . . ]

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[With Ms. Wospeka after the rebound.]

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[We were slow out of the box but were picking up steam.]

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[In the 2nd period, we picked up three straight minor penalties and of course thought this isn’t good!  While it allowed the Otters to dictate the action through the first half of the period, the Cards really took over the momentum from there.  Extended periods of forechecking kept the puck in the Otters’ zone most of the time.  Here Megan Pesta scored on what produced the photo op of the night . . . and I missed it.  After she shot, she soared through the air, either from contact with the players in front of her or just leaping over fallen bodies.  I wonder if anybody got a shot of that?]

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[I’m at the games as a fan first, so I don’t always have the camera ready.  And you can’t anticipate a goal.  But on this one (and others to come!), I’m really kicking myself for not getting it.  Later in the period Ms. Revering scored her 2nd goal of the game.  It was right down our sight line, and I was so engrossed in what was to come I never thought of the camera.  She swooped in alone down the left side, and we could see her pick her spot – a beautiful wrister over the goalie’s right shoulder on the short side.]

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[Always hard to capture a slap shot – here’s Ms. Niska with one.]

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[Ms. Ellingson takes on three Otters simultaneously.]

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[The seniors McKenna and Mackenzie in on goal.]

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[The dreaded two-goal lead after two.]

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[The Cards are back to help Ms. Coker in goal.]

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[Kristin Leary (26) on point.]

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[Mackenzie and Megan make an Otter sandwich.]

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[And the dreaded two-goal lead hex bit again.  The team continues a season that at times is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, to paraphrase Winston Churchill.]

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[But then there is JOY, JOY, JOY!  The Cards, I think embarrassed they let their lead disappear, totally dominated in OT until Mari corralled the puck about 15 feet out, skated to her right to escape traffic, and fired in the game winner.  We couldn’t see it go in because we were blocked by the traffic she eluded.]

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[A big win in the conference and for seeding in the section.  I suspect we’ll be the No. 1 seed.]

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The boys’ team lost at Fergus, 3 – 2, in OT also.  The Otters tied it with 30 seconds left in the game.  Oy!  And this was another night of girls’ hockey and basketball being home on the same night.  The roundballers won another conference game by more than 20 points against Sartell to remain undefeated in conference!

Street hockey is great for kids. It’s energetic, competitive, and skilful. And best of all it keeps them off the street.  ~ Author Unknown

Up next:  Methinks sports

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Boys Play Sports Too? Who Knew?

January 21

Our Cardinals were coming in on a mini-hot streak.  But the opponent was the St. Cloud Apollo Eagles, the defending section champ and undefeated in the conference so far this year.  This was the Cards chance for a statement win at home and for section ranking points . . .

[When I (the Super still battling a cold) arrived the first period of the JV game had just ended.  Our Cards were behind 4 -1 and were being outshot 15 – 1?  So, I thought, what the . . . .?  Then I learned that Apollo had basically played their varsity in the first period – because they don’t have enough players for a separate JV team.  This is a trend that seems to happening in a lot of places – so far our numbers for both boys and girls still remain good in Alex.  Therefore, as good as Apollo has been in boys hockey, next year they will combine with Tech to form one public school team in St. Cloud (Cathedral will still be separate).  Anyway, with fewer varsity players available for the Eagles in the 2nd period (only two periods were played), the Cards made a nice comeback and actually had a couple of really good chances to tie.]

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[My first shot of the varsity game – not bad.  Will go down as a favorite for the year!  :-)  ]

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[Nate Folsom (5), senior defense, trying fend off an Eagle.]

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[Mack Strong (16), junior forward, in on goal.]

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[And a multi-player pile up in the goal – no injuries were reported or tickets issued.]

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[Players still trying to unscramble as the goalie gathers his wits.]

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[Freshman forward Jack Westlund (10).]

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[Wade Smith (25), junior defense, tries to keep the puck in the zone.]

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[Jack Steffl (2), senior forward, in with Strong and Smith.]

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[Same guys, must have been having a good shift.]

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[Up until one minute left in the first period, it had been a great game.  Both teams were skating well, fast paced, each team with just three shots on goal.  And then the Cards blew all their gaskets.  A 5-minute major penalty, the Eagles scored before the period ended and carried over another 4 1/2 minutes of power play in the 2nd period.]

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[Cards of the future starred between periods.]

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[The Cards got another 5-minute major in the 2nd, plus a minor.  It seemed like we played the whole period short handed.]

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[We were down 4 – 0 after two periods and probably did pretty well to be that “close.” The Eagles had 3 power play goals.  The Cards were spent from all the penalty killing.  The game was over for me and several other fans who had seen enough of the Eagles on the power play.  The final was 4 – 0.]

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January 22

Our Card boys basketball team had also been playing well lately, winning 7 of our last 8.  But we were hosting the Rocori Spartans, a team that took us to the woodshed to the tune of 57 – 32 in their first meeting.

[We (the Super was better) arrived in time for the finish of the JV and 9th grade games.  We won both.  Yay.  But we had to wait for the games to end before they rolled out our usual West side bleachers.]

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[It was there we first noticed that girl basketball and hockey players (and maybe others?) we there to cheer on the Cards in their . . . jammies!  Cyndi Lauper was right!

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[The JV game was close, the Cards had to make free throws down the stretch – and we did, here freshman guard Cody Kutz (13).]

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[Nice win.]

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[Game over]

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[Crossed over to our usual seats – a large contingent of students beat us to our usual seats.]

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[Big enough game to a attract a band!]

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[Roundballer Kiyana Miler is spotted in some sort of rodent attire?]

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[Looks like a good crowd.]

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[A quick scan of all the school banners, placed in such a manner to intimidate the opposition.]

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[Team intros begin with Jaran Roste (1), junior guard . . .]

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[Then Matt Bloom (3), senior guard . . . ]

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[Then Spencer Hockert (15), junior forward . . . ]

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[Another quiet (shhh) 20-point game for him . . . ]

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[Brayden Amundson (23), senior forward . . . ]

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[Jeremiah Burnham (5), senior center.]

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[And a video for the start of the game . . . ]

[Halftime already, and no pix?  Little did we realize when the students moved in in front of us that they would stand the whole game.  As old people, who go to games like we’re going on a camping trip, we didn’t feel like moving all our equipment to the upper tiers. We watched between the shoulders.  Anyway, the Cards had a great half – an attacking offense and tough defense.]

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[Now to the game with serious “stuff” on the line . . . make a midcourt shot, win a pizza slice!  Up first, Cardinal center Kayla Feldhake, jammies and all!]

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[Then designated 3-point shooter Kara Thomson . . . both she and Kayla were close, off the glass, off the rim.]

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[Oh, oh, the starting guards are in line – Macy Hatlestad in the leopard print hoodie, and Kendall Kohler and the red and white stripes . . . ]

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[And then, from the far side, I believe that’s hockey goalie Amy Jost . . . ]

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[And then someone, whom I didn’t recognize, also in red and white stripes was the only shooter to make a shot  – likely a hockey player then?]

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[Then Macy . . . very close!]

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[Then Kendall, also a rim shot.}

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[Meanwhile, the 2nd half is about to begin . . . ]

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[Roste on D, but he also had a terrific offensive game as the leading scorer with 25.]

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[Jeremiah and Brayden join the pinch – we had a pretty good look around the students at our defensive end.]

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[Ooops, then someone got in the way.]

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[Alex Wensman (25), senior center,  and Jake Drew (33), junior forward, on D.  Drew was a big key in the JV game, but also gets a lot of PT with the varsity.]

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Jared Lind (11), senior guard.]

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[Meanwhile, Amy Jost takes over the student cheering section and takes them on a roller coaster ride!]

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[The game got a little tense at the end.  As often happens, the Cards played the 2nd half not to lose.  We lost our aggressiveness on offense and fell out of sync.  The shots stopped falling (I think we only made a couple of 3’s the whole game), and the Spartans, in catch up mode, starting shooting early in each possession and either making them or getting the offensive rebounds and scoring on their 2nd or 3rd attempts.  They closed to within one with about three minutes left, but the Cards scored six points in the next 30 seconds to hold on for the big win.  I believe we’re tied for 3rd in the conference now.]

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[We have Fergus at home next Thursday.  They’re in 1st place in the conference and beat us by 18 at their place.]

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January 19 Sunrise Over Beautiful Lake Darling

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We’re going to turn this team around 360 degrees.  ~  Jason Kidd

Up next:  I’m with Jason.

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River Lakes – 4, Cardinals – 2

When there is a scheduling conflict between a girls’ hockey game and a girls’ basketball game, I’ll generally opt for what I think will be the more competitive game.  Since Kohler’s cagers have been laying waste to their conference competition, I opted for hockey on Tuesday night.  The game was too competitive.  The Cardinals lost to a team we had beaten 4 – 1 at their place earlier in the season.  River Lakes had a losing record and was toward the bottom in the conference.  When we lost to Sartell-Sauk Rapids last week, we likely lost any chance for the conference title.  River Lakes is a class AA team that we won’t play in sections.  Disinterest?  Maybe.  But there’s only four games left in the regular season, including three tough road games . . .

[The JV has been playing well, so here’s a shout out to them.  I arrived by my lonesome (the Super was under the weather . . . and a lot of blankets), and not expecting other Super Fan support decided to watch the JV game from behind the goal.  I learned early on it was only going to be a two period game because the Stars did not have enough players (the JV and varsity are combined).  Anyway, here’s sophomore forward Meghan Moore (23).]

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[April Jost (5), junior forward]

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[Well, refs have families too!]

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[April is nicely positioned.]

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[Trihanna Olson (14), senior forward]

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[It’s a home run!]

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[Jade Bollman (9), junior forward, will soon figure in things.]

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[Since it’s a lefty, gotta be Kaia Illies (13), sophomore forward.]

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[It’s a race!]

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[Josie Minnerath (6), sophomore forward]

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[Kaia]

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[Trihanna]

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[GOOOAAAALLLLLL!  This is Jade’s, after a scrum in front of the net.  I couldn’t tell who got it – the parents around me, with parents’ eyes, all said, “Jade!”  (The formal next day report said it was Meghan?)]

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[Here comes Calley Richardson (7), sophomore defense, on a break away . . . ]

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[She shoots . . . ]

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[And GOOOAAAALLLL!!  The game winner . . . fitting since she was stopped on a point blank shot just a few minutes before this.]

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[A nice solid win, had control of the game throughout.]

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[Pre-game warm-up video, so get out the popcorn and Gatorade.  About 2/3’s of the way through you’ll hear me mumble, “Oh, April,” as she appeared to be nicked by a slapshot by McKenzie Revering during tip drills.  Well, I wouldn’t want to be nicked by a Rev slapshot!]

[We were flat in the first period again?  Here McKenna Ellingson (24) is at the back door.]

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[Still waiting . . . ]

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[As bodies crash all around her.]

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[And then Mari Wosepka scored for us to tie the game at one.  Funny, McKenna was in the camera coverage the whole time, but I never saw Mari?]

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[Here’s the Kristin Trosvig (15), Sam Klimek (37), Hanah Hansen (11) line making a push.]

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[But where . . . ]

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[Is the puck?]

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[The goalie with the old hidden puck trick.]

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[The Stars goalie played well – I don’t remember us having too many chances for rebounds.]

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[With the JV playing so well, they are getting shots at varsity time.  Here Josie (6) and Calley (7), sophomores previously noted above, are on the ice with Allison O’Kane (36), also a sophomore.]

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[Looks like Rev and Kristin . . . ]

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[And then shortly after the Stars took a 2 – 1 lead, Rev answered back within seconds.  We thought the Cards were finally ready to take off!]

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[But when the Stars got the next two goals, I believe both off turnovers in our own end, we could tell a chance for a comeback was gone.  The team was active throughout the 3rd period, but really didn’t threaten.]

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[The shots on goal are deceiving; I thought the Stars flat out outplayed us.]

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In other news, the girl roundballers won at Willmar on Saturday in a battle of the undefeated, in conference, Cardinals.  Our Cardinals won by 14, our smallest margin of victory in the conference this year, and then had a big home win over Apollo Tuesday night.  We are now 9 – 0 in conference and 11 – 3 overall (as is the JV), and are currently the No. 1 section seed.  The boys b’ball and hockey teams are also on a bit of roll.

Half the game [hockey] is mental; the other half is being mental.  ~  Jim McKenny

Up next:  More sports?

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High School Girls Rule the Day

When the temperature is double digits below zero, what better way to spend an entire afternoon and evening than with high school girls excelling at their crafts?

[Josie Nelson performing at Carlos Creek Winery on Saturday.  Though still just a junior she plans on pursuing a pre-med major in college.]

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[And her mom’s making videos, too!  :-)  ]

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[I mean, seriously folks, is there anything prettier than 10 degrees below zero?]

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[Sped immediately from the winery to the RCC for the girls’hockey game against Detroit Lakes.  We got there in time to see the end of the JV game.  They were terrific again!]

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[I started the game with a video.  Early on our play wasn’t of video quality – OK, just a slow start – so  cut it off.  Here we’re in the Laker zone with Lauren Niska (21) on the point.]

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[A flurry around the Laker zone . . . ]

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[Do you see the puck . . . where the goalie is looking?]

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[In golf voice-over:  Mari Wosepka (18) is lining up her putt; McKenna Ellingson (24) tries to shoo the Laker from skating on her line!]

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[Somehow the 1st period scoreboard is different from the “official” game report.  I seem to recall 1 – 0 after one, but the game report lists 1st period goals by Alexis Heckert (20) and Niska?  I some how missed both with my camera?]

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[“Rev” (29), there is no substitute.]

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[Alexis and Mari after the puck . . . ]

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[And their linemate, McKenna joins the activity.]

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[GOOOAAAAALLLLL!   This is likely Sam Klimek’s goal, shone as the first one of the 2nd period.]

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[After goal face-off, looks like Sam’s line is still out there with Hanah Hansen (11) and . . .]

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[One of the really fun things about being a cub reporter is a moment like this . . . I got this shot of senior McKenna Schroeder (28). I must have been prescient because later McKenna got her first ever varsity goal. And I think I got that where she’s leaping in celebration. When you get down to it, there are few things in life as important and memorable as that first ever varsity goal. They stop the game and present the puck to the bench for the player’s forever keepsake.]

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[GOOOOAAAAALLLLL!  McKenna’s (Ellingson).]

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[Rev moves into the offensive zone.]

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[A shot!  And I’m pretty sure it’s Rev’s, she’s the leftie on the right.  I noticed for the first time before the game that we only have three lefties on the team:  Rev, Allison O’Kane, and Kaia Illies.]

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[It’s a scrum!!  I notice Calley Richardson (7) in this shot.  She’s a JVer, but the JV has been playing so well several have been getting PT with the varsity too – Kaia, Josie Minnerath, probably Talia Olson.]

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[GOOOAAAAALLLL!  But since the official line is different from what I have, I have no idea?  I have Ms. Schroeder up next.  Anyway, it’s too bad because this is destined to be one of my favorite sports photos of the season.]

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[Now here is Ms. Schroeder shooting . . . ]

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[And then celebrating!!]

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[Ms. Ellingson is ridden into the boards . . . can’t remember if it was a penalty.]

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[Ms. Minnerath (6) takes a turn with the varsity.]

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[After period 2, have I covered all the goals?]

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[OK ladies, bring it on home.]

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[Ho-hum . . . TV timeout?]

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[Alexis after the dastardly disc.  She scored again early in the period and Ms. Ellingson followed shortly, again, with a short-handed goal.  So, the two frosh linemates had two goals each.]

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[Kristin on a break . . . ]

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[She shoots . . . and scores!]

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[Here comes the Ellingson, Heckert, Wosepka line again.]

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[Ooooh, a near miss.]

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[A big win.  The shots-on-goal here is deceiving – the Lakers had very few quality shots.]

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[And then as we’re trying to figure out our new in-house computer arrangements, scanned this to see if it worked. This is one of the items that makes me rich, and the Super and I go through several a year.]

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Does it disturb anyone else that “The Los Angeles Angels” baseball team translates directly to “The The Angels Angels”?  ~ Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Up next:  Sports, I believe.

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A Trip Down Memory Interstate Highway System

The Strib recently reported that Minnesota’s major sports teams were a combined 0 -13 for 2016.  So, I thought maybe everybody could use a little sports cheer up . . . and the Super wanted me to help rearranging (i.e., purging) our bookshelves.

Alexandria

[73 years later and Hal Haskins is still the gold standard for Cardinal roundballers.]

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[Our first year in retirement – thought we went to state every year?  ;-) ]

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Golf

[OK, this could have fit under Alexandria as well.]

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[I had a friend who did the legal work for this tournament.  The week after it was over he invited me to play Congressional (yes, yea, it’s who you know).  The course was still in Open condition, and we played from the championship tees (he showed me where Tiger hit every drive).  I had a 45 on the front, I thought not bad.  I lost it on the back.  It was a hot day and we were carrying our bags – gave me a new appreciation for the golfers and their caddies.  Congressional made me feel like I needed to be a mountain goat.]

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[Remember the Gophs were Penn State’s first ever Big Ten game.  I rode up in a bus put together by the Nittany Lion alumni club.  Oy!  Gophs played well but lost in a high scoring game.  I saw the Gophs play in Happy Valley one other time while I still lived “out East.”]

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[The season taken away from us.  The Super and I hadn’t planned on going to Final Four that year because we were making our first trip to Europe the following week.  Then the Gophers made it – so I had to go.  No lodging reserved, no tickets either.  We somehow lucked into the downtown Hyatt right next to the stadium and with a view of the state capitol.  We bought tickets on the street from a Kentucky family who sold them to us a face value.  Everything was falling into place . . . until we lost a close one to Kentucky in the semi-final.  Sold our tickets to the final to Kentucky fans and headed for Europe.]

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[Our D.C. “home” team – well, when it wasn’t Georgetown.  Wolf Blitzer was a regular at their games; President Clinton came once when the Patriots were ranked in the Top 10.]

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Final Fours

[My first was Indiana’s undefeated year, 1976.  Played at the Philadelphia Spectrum where we bought tickets at the gate the day of the games . . . boy, did that ever change over the years!  From 1982 on we were pretty much regulars, and probably why I was able to fill in all 50 states when that “question” went around on Facebook.  And, of course, we always have to thank Basketball Dan for being our travel agent and tour guide.]

[Michael Jordan won it . . . ]

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[Jim Valvano running around the court looking for someone to hug . . . ]

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[Yay for our Hoyas . . . ]

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[Missed Villanova in ’85; Louisville won but I have no memories . . . ]

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[Keith Smart won it for the Hoosiers . . . ]

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[Danny and the Miracles . . . ]

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[Missed Michigan in ’89 . . . ]

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[The last year the Final Four was held in a basketball arena – and it showed in that the scalper ticket prices were too rich for our blood.  We watched UNLV win from our hotel room . . . ]

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[Well, it was in Colorado . . . ]

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[Duke . . . ]

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[Duke (again) . . . the Super’s Hoosiers were here and we didn’t have tickets.  We were trying to score them on the street, but Minneapolis has (had?) a strict anti-scalping law.  We heard a scuffle behind us and two plain clothes cops had a guy pinned to the sidewalk with their pistols out – for scalping?  The Super started crying thinking she’d never be able to get into the games.  Then we ran into a guy who had tickets, and we followed him to a bar a couple blocks from the stadium.  They completed the transaction under the table . . . just like a drug deal!  Oy!  Just shows to go yuh!]

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[Tarheels . . . ]

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[Sooie Pig and 40 minutes of hell . . . ]

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[UCLA . . . ]

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[Missed ’96 with Kentucky, this was Lute’s year . . . ]

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[Tubby and the ‘Cats . . . ]

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[UConn – unfortunately (or is it “fortunately”?) we didn’t know Crazy Dave yet . . . ]

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[Mateen Cleaves and the Spartans . . . ]

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[UConn – In Minnesota now, not going much anymore, much easier to sit home and watch it on the big screen TV . . . ]

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[Tarheels – we just happened to stop by after a long road trip through out the West . . . ]

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[Florida – well, the Super got her Masters Degree there . . . ]

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[Duke (again) . . . we were for hometown Butler.]

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Twins

[Oh Happy Days!]

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Cars will soon have the Internet on the dashboard. I worry that this will distract me from my texting.  ~ Andy Borowitz

Up next:   Josie and girls’ hockey.

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