Let’s get right to it . . .
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.]
[Hmmm, I wonder whether the now retired “Voice” is up in his old perch “WITHOUT PERMISSION”?]
[Psssst, hey, Mark! I think that lens is way too big for close-ups?]
[Seniors and parents introductions about to begin . . . ]
[The JV looking for good seats for the pre-game festivities.]
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!
[Ms. Wosepka knocked the Anthem out of the park. A portent of things to come?]
[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.]
[Back on regular shifts, Mari (18) with Alexis Heckert (20) and McKenna Ellingson (24).]
[Then McKenzie Revering joins the fray. (Next year it appears we will be down to one McKenzie and one McKenna.)]
[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).]
[Ms. Ellingson with a shot . . . ]
[With Ms. Wospeka after the rebound.]
[We were slow out of the box but were picking up steam.]
[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?]
[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.]
[Always hard to capture a slap shot – here’s Ms. Niska with one.]
[Ms. Ellingson takes on three Otters simultaneously.]
[The seniors McKenna and Mackenzie in on goal.]
[The dreaded two-goal lead after two.]
[The Cards are back to help Ms. Coker in goal.]
[Kristin Leary (26) on point.]
[Mackenzie and Megan make an Otter sandwich.]
[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.]
[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.]
[A big win in the conference and for seeding in the section. I suspect we’ll be the No. 1 seed.]
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
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