Cardinals – 4, North Wright County – 1

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[Tuesday, the morning of the game, life among our feathered friends around our lakeside cottonwood.]

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[As usual, we were among the early arrivals.  We enjoy watching the JV games too.  Here “The Voice” is in his aerie doing a little pre-game stop-and-chat with head coach Blair Hovel.]

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[Coaches Niska and Arola address the JV’s.  I believe they’re addressed as “ladies.”]

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[It’s a face-off!]

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[Onna O’Connor (32) and Kristen Trosvig (15) head into the zone . . .]

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[Leading to a tying goal by Trihanna Olson (14), junior center.]

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[Another meeting, the gist of which was no doubt score another goal.]

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[Kristin and April Jost (5), sophomore forward, enter the zone and Kristin gets a shot on goal.]

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[April is joined by Kaia Illies (13), sophomore forward.]

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[April gave us a go ahead goal!  🙂  ]

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[The River Hawks pulled their goalie at the end and the Cards couldn’t clear our zone.  The tying goal was scored.  Good even game, the Cards were short a defenseman, but Sarah Finley (1), sophomore goalie, did a nice job.  The JV is undefeated through 3 games.]

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[On to the varsity, Nicole Bartels (23) coming off a two-goal game, including the winner, against North Metro on Saturday.]

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[Just warmin’ up.]

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[North Wright County, huh?]

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[So, what do the kids in the South do for fun?]

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[Let’s skate in circles some more . . .]

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[Ms. Bartels, an elegant skater, belly-flopped on the blue line when they first came on the ice.  Not to embarrass her – she laughed – but it happens to everybody.  I’m sure she heard about it from her teammates though.  😉   ]

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[Some more circles . . . ]

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[Saddle up, ladies!]

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[Lauren Niska (21), at this time was not aware she would get two goals and an assist and be named player-of-the-game!  🙂  ]

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[Ms. Bartels]

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[McKenna Ellingson (24), at this time not aware she would score her first ever varsity goal.]

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[Kaitlin Leary (26), I owed her a good picture.]

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[McKenzie Revering (29), she “drives the bus.”]

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[Amy Jost (33), the protector and gate guard.]

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[Well, not all of them, but the most that would fit in this photo.]

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[LET’S PLAY HOCKEY!!]

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[Once again, trying to create a hole in the middle of the defensive line for Nicole to dart through.]

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[Mari Wosepka (18) sang the National Anthem with kudos from the visiting fans.]

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[Hanah Hansen (11), while a star in her own right is also known as a grandniece (as I recall) of Oscar-nominated actor, John Hawkes.]

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[We started fast with lots of pressure from the beginning.  This was our 3rd-straight game against a BIG class opponent with no practices in between.]

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[Already heading to the bench for a goal celebration . . . ]

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[Lauren’s first of the game.  I had a perfect line on it – great hard shot right over the goalie’s right shoulder into the far upper corner of the net.]

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[McKenna’s first varsity goal – an 8th-grader!  🙂  ]

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[Kaitlin and Nicole, the final protectors for Ms, Jost.]

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[Now Kristin’s in on goal.  She got an assist in this game.  In the first 3 games, we have 10 players in the scorer’s circle.  That’s a nice balance to have.]

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[Ooops, the River Hawks try to break out – Nicole comes with them.]

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[Looks like Sam Klimek (37) just missed getting wood on that one.]

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[But we’re keeping it in the zone.]

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[Keep an eye on it . . .]

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[Then Lauren got her 2nd goal on a rebound.]

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[And we’re back in again.  We were really flying the first two periods.]

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[Dominant, so far.]

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[We got sloppy early in the 3rd and didn’t clear the puck.  They got a goal on a deflected shot early in the 3rd period.  And the hardest lead to hold is a two-goal lead?]

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[The play was pretty even in the 3rd.  I don’t think we had the same intensity, but that’s hard to keep up for a whole game.]

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[We had some chances . . . ]

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[McKenna taking a power play face-off . . . ]

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[And that was, I believe, when Mari scored a power play goal that put the game away.]

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[We win!  And we’ll see you again on Friday night.]

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[Wednesday, the morning after the game, life among our feathered friends around the lakeside cottonwood. Third day in a row of all day (off and on) snow, and now the lake ice is forming. The eagle pair is here. They have been here for as long as we have (sometimes there are three . . . kids?) – they live 20 years in the wild.  At least we suspect they are a couple, this is about the only time of the year we see them. We suspect they nest over by Arrowwood, less than a mile from here. So we have eagles, swans, geese, coots, mallards, and possibly assorted others.]

There’s a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.  ~ Steven Wright

Up next:  More hockey, likely.  We host Sartell/Sauk Rapids – Rice tomorrow night.

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