“Let’s Play Hockey!!”

November 8

It’s a new year with new faces.  The girls have new coaches.  This was a girl/boy doubleheader v. St. Cloud – yes, just St. Cloud.  Oy.  The girls are coming off another state tournament year, but lost a lot of seniors.  The good news is they seem poised to make another tournament run again this year – with the help of a bunch of kids (well, I guess they’re all kids).  The boys are coming in off an off year (the preceding year was excellent), and early results are interesting.  They won their first two games by a combined 19-4 score!

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[Your 2016-17 Alexandria Cardinal girls’ hockey team.]

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[Introducing the starters – Josie Minnerath (6), junior forward)]

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[Kristin Trosvig (15), junior forward]

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[McKenna Ellingson (24), sophomore forward (she and Kristin have already been two year regulars) – the 2nd line out includes Alexis Heckert (20), sophomore forward (also already a two year regular, and two 8th-graders, Anna Doherty (7) and Marki Oberg (10).  In other words, our future is all in front of us.]

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[Calley Richardson (19), junior defense – she was injured before the 3rd period and didn’t play any longer.  Here’s hoping she’s OK?]

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[Taylor Breitkreutz (34), junior defense]

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[Sarah Finley (1), senior goalie]

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[New head coach, Molly Arola (0n the right), has unexpected bench help.  Senior and Division I signee with UMD, McKenzie Revering (on the left), had an ACL injury in the first soccer game of the year and thus is unlikely to play hockey.]

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[Lookin’ good for the anthem, sung once again by Super Fan Roger Riley.]

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[And we have face-off!]

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[Allison O’Kane (36), junior defense, with Kristin in the offensive zone.]

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[Face-off in the Icebreaker zone, that’s Mayson Toft (14), freshman defense.]

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[This is a duo we’ll be seeing on the attack a lot this season, Kristin and McKenna.]

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[Kristin tries to split the defense.]

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[OK, where’d the puck go?]

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[Marki sneaks in behind the goalie.]

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[Psst, ref, didn’t you see that illegal hit?]

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[Megan Pesta (8), senior forward]

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[Kristin battles for puck control.]

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[And here circling looking for a pass.]

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[There’s a Cardinal in there somewhere.]

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[Oh, Kristin and McKenna (looking for a lower berth).]

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[Here’s the Alexis line with Mayson on the point.]

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[Honestly, they just seem to appear in the most of the pictures?]

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[Allison on Sarah’s left flank.]

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[Kristin in on goal with McKenna trailing.]

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[Nope, stopped again.  Throughout the game we had several odd man breaks but just couldn’t convert – gotta give kudos to the Icebreaker goalie.]

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[Now remember, no looking for Kim Kardashian!]

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[Ref screens our center?]

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[But Josie powers through.]

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[The Megan line with Ashton Oberg (3), senior forward, and Kaia Illies (13), junior forward.]

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[And now the Alexis line – nice to have a grizzled veteran sophomore to center two 8th-graders.]

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[Josie and McKenna cross the blue line with speed.]

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[Shot . . . but no goal.]

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[The 8th-graders on the attack – yup, they can play!]

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[Come back here, puck!]

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[And Kristin and McKenna on the doorstep again.]

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[This was at the end of two.  Good, close game.]

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[Kristin from a bad angle.]

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Then . . . GOOOOOAAAALLL!  Shorthanded by McKenna.  The last half of the game that seemed to be the only way we could score – we took way to many penalties and it ultimately cost us.]

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[Another point blank attempt by McKenna.]

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[In our zone, looks like we’re shorthanded again.]

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[Taylor on a defensive pinch gets a shot.]

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[Josie . . . all alone and blue?]

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[Good game.  I thought we played well against St. Cloud Tech, St. Cloud Apollo, and I don’t think Cathedral has a girls team?  Anyway, we had a bucket load more penalties than they did – maybe we wanted to work on our kill? -and it was still a pretty even game.  Looking forward to rest of the season and the development of all our young players.]

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[Then the boys . . . also against a combined Tech and Apollo, and then play defending section champ Cathedral next week.    ]

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[So big, the mainstream media was there for coverage.]

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[It takes me a while to recover from our disco ball introductions, so here’s the opening face off.]

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[This line of Jack Westlund (10), sophomore, Ben Doherty (7), sophomore, and Mack Strong (16), senior, all have over 10 points in our first two games.]

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[I was prescient, it was going to be Strong’s game – here with Nic VanOrsdel (19), senior forward, and Wage Smith (25), senior defense.]

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[Strong . . . ]

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[Strong . . . ]

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[Yup, St. Cloud (don’t even know if they have a nickname – Tech was the Tigers, Apollo the Eagles, so either the “Teagles” or the “Eagers”?] deserved to be ahead.  They were plenty good.]

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[Then the 2nd period began, and our 10-point per player line erupted.]

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[Doherty scored first . . . ]

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[Then Strong . . . ]

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[Strong again . . . ]

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[A breakaway by Derek Berning (26), senior forward, with a terrific finishing move gave the Cards a 4 – 3 lead.]

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[Then Strong again for a 5 – 4 lead.]

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[Yup, the hat trick and the refs did cleanup.]

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[Amazing period.]

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[Micah Christenson (22), senior forward and of football fame, goes behind the goal.]

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[A power play goal, I believe this was after the phantom “too many men on the ice” penalty against us.  Although I would say St. Cloud generally had the better of the play, we could have had a 5 – 4 win.]

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[Strong in OT . . . but the teams weren’t.  It was such a hard, fast game both teams were exhausted for the overtime, barely dragging themselves on the ice at shift change.  Makes me think maybe high school games should just end in ties without playing OT.]

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[I think we had to kill another penalty in OT – St. Cloud was too tired to capitalize.]

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[And here comes the Doherty line again . . . ]

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[We’ll be fun to watch, but at this point may be a little too top heavy with almost all the scoring coming from the top line.]

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Goaltending is a normal job, sure. How would you like it in your job if every time you made a small mistake, a red light went on over your desk and 15,000 people stood up and yelled at you?  ~  Jacques Plante

Up Next:  A nap?

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