Senior Night 3-fer

Initially, I have to offer my sincerest apologies to Sam Ellingson. As girls’ hockey senior night emcee, I lost my way (as occasionally happens to true “seniors”) in the 5-page script and missed a half page in her presentation. Lighting director, Marnee’ Herd, said she noticed it at the time and was about to give me an elbow to the ribs. So here, in a feeble attempt at redemption, is the missing half page about Sam:

“You are an awesome fellow captain.”

“Good luck in college – I know you will become a good nurse because you always fill us in on the questions we had.”

“I love your matching green sticks, and when you play hockey with Blair it’s like the Olympics.”

“Hockey in Fergus was so much fun this summer.”

“You have such a carefree attitude that nobody could ever not have fun around you. You make everything so much better and I’ll miss you so much.”

“You are a beautiful person inside and out.”

“When we go to Dairy Queen and ask for spaghetti . . .”

“I’ll always remember “yaaaaah” – you always made me smile.”

“Peanut, I don’t know what I would have done through the years without you.”

[And I really wanted to do that “Yaaaaaah” part!]

The following videos of the ceremony are the first cinematographic efforts by the supervisor. She practiced first with the Zamboni: 

[Editor’s note:  Although the supervisor was able to capture the Hoymster, Super Fans Karen Meuwissen and her daughter Beth Rindy (home from Bemidji State) were also on hand; and Roger “One-in-a-Row” Riley, and Joy and Dusty Johnson arrived late but made up for it by leaving early.  The Johnson’s, incidentally, have been snowshoeing on Lake Carlos.  Dusty said it’s an effort because of the snow depth on the ice. ]


Saturday began with the girls’ hockey game against Bemidji. Again, I have to apologize to Ms. Ellingson as I was slow returning to my seat after the pre-game ceremonies, and the puck had already been dropped by the time I wanted to capture her in the starting lineup for the first time. As has happened every at every senior night I can recall, the team started slowly and was behind until late in the first period. Then a flurry of activity led to hard fought goals that gave the Cards a 3-2 lead after one. The score was 4-4 going into the 3rd period (goal scorers were Maddy Houska, Claire Illies, Alia Kopischke, and Rachel Finley with assists by Quinn Kragenbring, Becca Illies, Alia, and Kalley Kragenbring) when an ill-timed bounce of the puck led to a Lumberjack goal with a minute and a half left in the game. The Cards pulled their goalie and despite some good pressure came up short, 5-4. The team has three more road games before the section quarterfinals on February 12. We suspect their strength of schedule will give them a high enough seed for a home game.

After the game, the team invited us to their post-game pizza party in “The Warming House,” which overlooks the rink from the south side of the arena (as seen in the Zamboni video). Despite the aforementioned errors in performance, Jenna Finley, event and script coordinator and mom to junior forward Rachel, saw fit to offer a token of appreciation. OK, it’s way more than a token, and we again offer our thanks! We think there’s something good in there!

We watched the beginning of the boys’ game against Bemidji from “The Warming House,” and while we had every intention of staying for the whole game we were pressed for time. Ruthie, still recovering from a lingering cold that grounded her all week and further exhausted by her stint as a cinematographer, wanted to get home and under a blankie, and I was due at the gym for the girls’ basketball game against St. Cloud Tech. The boys’ were behind 3-1 late in the first period when we left and ultimately lost to a very good Bemidji team (17-2-1), 7-2. As the girls’ season winds down, we hope to provide more coverage of the boys’ team (now 6-11-1).

The St. Cloud Tech girls’ basketball team was coming in off a 3-point loss to undefeated Sartell, so it figured to be a tough game.  Our Cards had beaten the Tigers earlier at their place, 77 – 69, in one of our closest games.  Plus, the Cards were playing without conference player-of-the-week, Alli Haar, who had sprained her ankle in the previous game at Brainerd. The Cards came out smokin’ as they usually do and built an early double-digit lead.  But halfway through the half, Lauren Trumm picked up her 3rd foul and sat out the rest of the half.  It then became apparent that Tech had the most athletic team the Cards had faced this year – plus they had a big center and a 3-point shooter who didn’t seem to miss.  With Lauren out, the Tigers closed the gap and by halftime the Cards were clinging to a 3-point lead.

In the 2nd half with Lauren back on the floor, the Cards opened up the lead again.  They began going to Sam more where she was able to exploit her quickness underneath (she had 9 of her 11 points in the 2nd half).  Lauren had to sit out some again when she picked up her 4th foul, but the Cards maintained their lead and eventually came away with a 60-50 victory.  With the absence of Alli, freshman Amanda Christianson (Angela’s sister) saw her first extended playing time with the varsity and did well – she’s 5’9” and fits the team profile of long and athletic.  Despite her extended “rests” on the bench, Lauren led all scorers with 18, Sam and Joie (who got us going) had 11, and Amanda, Whitney and Cara had 7, 6, 6 for good balance again.  Cara was named player of the game – as point guard, and with Lauren out a lot, she ran the team great despite strong man-to-man pressure by the Tigers the entire game (we did look exhausted at the end).  [Just discovered Willmar beat undefeated Sartell last night, 71-60, moving the Cards just a game back now.  Willmar is 8-3 in conference, and we host them next Friday  (we won earlier at their place, 57-42).]

I was surprised to see Gretchen Nelson at the game.  She and Don had planned on heading to California this weekend, but Don had another heart “incident” yesterday.  He had recently been put on medication for irregular heartbeat, and it apparently wasn’t the right stuff.  The doctor put him on new medicine, and he is well enough that they plan on heading out today.  I also saw Martin Haar at the game (and told him that Don Carlson had died on Thursday).  Martin, at 90+, had another health issue himself recently, but still looks good and comes to see the team play every game.  He thought Alli’s sprained ankle will keep her from playing for a couple weeks.  Alli was with the team, of course, and on crutches (when she thought about using them) – tried to capture her in line for the end of game handshakes.

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