Hockey Started . . .

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[Kismet?  New garage door the day of the season opener!]

Skating Rink by David Francey

So, It’s Hockey Season . . .

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[“The Voice” is back in his aerie, this evening assisted by Mitch Loch, coach of the 2008 state champs.]

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[Your winter sports schedule . . . and you can’t tell the players without a scorecard.]

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[Courtesy of “Weakie,” your winter sports schedule pre-game meal!  🙂  ]

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[Your prototypical hockey parents . . .]

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[And their prototypical hockey playing progeny.  (Photos borrowed from the O’Connor Facebook page, and Donnacha cannot understand how his solid Irish heritage could have produced three girl hockey players?]

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[So this is Onna (32), the eldest of the O’Connor girls, a sophomore playing forward on the JV team against the visiting team from Hastings.]

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[This is Kristen Trosvig (15), a freshman forward, who kind of jumped out at us in this game.  She had several length of the ice rushes where she just blew by everybody.  In other words, she’s got wheels!]

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[Talia Olson (27), freshman defense, appears to get off a shot in a high traffic zone.]

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[Kaia Illies (13), sophomore forward (remember her sisters Claire and Becca?), and Ashten Oberg (3), sophomore forward, top; and Ms. Trosvig back protecting her goalie.]

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[Get outa here, you Raider!   Our goalie, No. 35, is not in our program?]

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[Another Kristin rush on goal.  The thing we’ve noticed over the years is a rink-long rush, particularly for younger players, ends with losing control of the puck at the goal.  It must be the excitement of having a shot with no one between you and the goalie?]

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[Onna, standing her ground!]

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[Kaia on face-off.]

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[A certain gentleman behind the glass on the right looks strikingly like our son-in-law.]

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[Cheers!  In the final seconds of the game, Kristin converted one of her rushes – the only goal of the game!  🙂  ]

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[Playing it out . . .]

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[We win!]

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[The varsity takes the ice.  Gee, you guys came here all the way from Hastings?  You must be really tired?]

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[Your Alexandria Cardinals . . . ]

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[And the coaches (l-r):  Blair Hovel, Molly Arola, Brittin Boike, and Mark Niska.  In the letter jacket, goalie Bailey Serum, just finished swimming season, i.e., moving from soft water to hard water.]

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[Player intros, Lauren Niska (21), junior, 2-year starter on defense, now a forward.]

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[Nicole Bartels (23), senior defense.]

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[McKenna Ellingson (24), 8th-grade forward.  There are apparently more Ellingsons on the way.]

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[Kaitlin Leary (26), sophomore defense.  I owe you one Kaitlin.]

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[Really like this shot.  Don’t know why?]

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[McKenzie Revering (29), sophomore, 2-year starter on defense now a forward.]

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[OK, like the similar one.]

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[Amy Jost (33), junior goalie.]

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[Super Fan Roger Riley sang the Anthem.  He had an unblemished record until . . . well, I just gave it away.  Super Fan “Weakie” posited after the game that the school song wasn’t played??  Roger’s unblemished record may continue on a technicality?]

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[Let’s kick butt!!  (Or words to that effect.)]

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[This is our first line.  Two former defensemen and an 8th-grader.  It will be a work in progress, but they are all talented.  Here trying to set up our opening gambit where they can create an opening for Nicole to dart through from her defense position and take off with the puck.]

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[McKenna and McKenzie work the boards.  Our “Big Mac” attack?]

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[It was a good game.  The teams were pretty evenly matched.]

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[After one . . . ]

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[After two . . . the goal was scored on a scrum in front of the net.  Yeah, didn’t take a lot of action shots in this game.  Just wanted to see what we’ve got.]

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[Ms. Trosvig also played with the varsity – and may have had our best scoring opportunity.]

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[Time-out, with seconds left.  We were down 1 – 0, with about 3 minutes left.  One of our Cards was skating shoulder-to-shoulder with the Raiders star player, Kiki Radke, who most certainly is all-state caliber, and they both went down.  The Cardinal got the penalty.  Go figure?  Ha!  So instead of having a chance for the tying goal, we spent most of the final minutes killing the penalty.  When we were finally able to pull our goalie, Radke scored into an empty net with .2 seconds left.  So the final score was 2 – 0.  The next night the Cards traveled to Brooklyn Park to play North Metro – the JV won 6 – 2, and the varsity won 4 – 3 in OT.  Nicole got two goals, including the game winner.]

Apres hockey . . .

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[After the game, we immediately bolted to SAWA for Dan Mahar.  He hadn’t performed here for about a year.]

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[You know where we are . . . it’s now Saturday afternoon at the winery . . .]

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[With Anthony Miltich . . .]

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[And with friends.]

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[They were advised of the supervisor’s ploy with Piano Man, so they all ran up to Anthony’s tip jar when he got to “. . . and put bread in my jar.”  🙂  ]

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[The table behind us – hunting widows? – complained when our table won a 2nd door prize drawing.  So John went back and gave them his prize, immediately befriending the entire table.  Whatta guy!]

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[Anthony also had a chat with that table and discovered one of the widows (?) was a singer.  So he invited her up, and she sang “Me and Bobby McGee.”  Not bad!  🙂  ]

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[And then that evening it was back to SAWA for Cheese Bots.  The excitement never ends!]

And the Hasz sisters did again . . .

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[This was the Upper Midwest regional meet in Sioux Falls.  Now they’ll both be off to the nationals in Oregon!  Photos from their dad.]

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[And on Sunday, the high school’s production of “Our Town.”  The kids were really great and put on a wonderful show.  I had to take this photo (no flash!) to show the kind of things they can do now with the performing arts center.]

And then came winter . . .

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[It began Monday morning. The first shot was 5:00.  Jami and I went out to shovel at 7:30 and quit at 9:00.  We shoveled the slab, then just down the driveway to clear an exit, and then had to do the slab again.  When it was done, I measured 7 inches on the deck that wasn’t wind blown.  Neighbor Arnie stopped by to laugh.  He was going to leave for Florida for the winter on Tuesday, but put it back another day.  He gave us about 40 pounds of potatoes that Jami’s holding in our winter version of “American Gothic.”]

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[And with winter’s onset, brother Cam had to hang up his Cardinal uniform.]

The day after tomorrow is the third day of the rest of your life.  ~  George Carlin

Up next:  Whatever winter allows.

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