2/14/2019 3:26:00 PM CL wins one section game before falling
Simley 2, Chisago Lakes 1 In their final tune-up before the section playoffs, the Wildcats stuck close to the Simley Spartans despite being outshot 44-23. But the Spartans scored a power play goal in the first period and a shorthanded goal in the third period to build a 2-0 lead. The Wildcats pulled their goalie late in the third period. With just a few seconds left on the clock, senior Molly Hill fired a shot that was tipped by a Simley forward. Standing at the backside post, Megan Bye knocked the puck out of the air and into the net with one second left on the clock to spoil the shutout. Hill’s assist was her first varsity point. Laine DeVries picked up the other assist. Perhaps most encouraging with the playoffs beginning the next night, Wildcat goalie Megan Lerfald stopped 42 of the 44 shots she faced. Senior goalie Haley Ries made a rare start for the Spartans, on Senior Night, and came within one second of a shutout as she stopped 22 of the 23 shots she faced. The game was played Tuesday, February 5 at Veteran’s Arena in Inver grove Heights.
“Megan played great in this one,” said Wildcat head coach Dave Burgen. “She emerged at midseason at the Schwan’s Cup and really carried the load for us as a senior. She has given us an opportunity to compete and win games. She stops the pucks she is supposed to stop and gives us a chance to make things happen. As for Simley, they are a well-coached team that runs an up-tempo game – they forecheck hard, fire a lot of shots from just inside the blue line and send players in looking for rebounds. They had more shots in this one, but we had more scoring chances. But we left pucks laying in creases and near the net and missed the net with a lot of shots. Their goalie played very well. If we hadn’t scored at the end, it would have been the first time all year we had been shut out.”
Chisago Lakes 4, Academy of Holy Angels 3 The third-seeded Wildcats trailed 3-1 to the sixth-seeded Holy Angels Stars early in the second period in the quarterfinals of the Section 5A playoffs. But Jenna Lawry took matters into her own hands, scoring three straight goals – one in the second period and two in the third period – to lead the Wildcats to a 4-3 win. The game was played Wednesday, February 6 at Parade Ice Garden, just one day after the Wildcats’ game against Simley. The win earned the Wildcats a chance to play in the section semifinals against second-seeded Minneapolis.
The Wildcats appeared nervous at the start of the game, and it didn’t help that a puck squirted to a wide-open Stars player during the game’s first shift and she put it away for a 1-0 Holy Angels lead. Holy Angels scored on a breakaway with two minutes left in the first period to go up 2-0. But with 30 seconds left in the period, Danielle Burgen held the puck in the zone at the left point and passed it to Claire DeVries. DeVries passed the puck to Megan Bye at the far-right side of the zone. Bye carried the puck to the middle of the ice, faked the goalie and put a backhand shot inside the right post to cut the Holy Angels lead to 2-1.
Three minutes into the second period, a Stars player won the race to a loose puck at center ice and scored on a breakaway to put the Stars back up by two. The Wildcats took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play at the midpoint of the second period. Claire DeVries won a race to the puck in the left corner and passed it to Kayla Bluhm in the right corner. Bluhm passed to Lawry at the right point. Lawry walked in, deked the defenseman with a classic toe-pole move and fired a shot that found its way into the net to cut the Stars’ lead to 3-2. At that point of the game, the Wildcats led 27-12 in shots on goal.
The Wildcats scored just five seconds into the third period, with the teams skating 4-on-4. Lawry, taking the faceoff, tapped the puck forward. Burgen jumped on the puck and carried it across the blue line on the right side. She shot and the goalie made a pad saved. The puck slid to the left. Lawry crashed the net and tapped the puck in for the tying goal. Just one minute later, Lawry was taking a faceoff to the left of the Holy Angels goal. She tapped the puck forward through a defenseman’s legs, picked up the puck and beat the goalie on the short side to complete her hat trick and give the Wildcats a 4-3 lead.
Wildcat head coach Dave Burgen said “Jenna is a player who finishes and sees the bigger picture. She really came up big for us in this one. And after she put us ahead, the next 16 minutes was the most nerve-wracking period I have ever been a part of as a coach. We outshot them 17-3 in the third period, but their goalie was unbelievable and kept us from getting ay kind of an insurance goal. But we held them off and came away with the big comeback win. It took us a while to calm down after that one.”
Minneapolis 5, Chisago Lakes 3 Second-seeded Minneapolis beat the Wildcats 5-3 in a Section 5A semifinal game this past Tuesday, February 12 at Parade Ice Garden in Minneapolis. The Wildcats trailed 4-2 late in the third period before Danielle Burgen scored at 15:14 to pull the Wildcats within one. But the Novas added an empty-netter at 15:57 to seal the win. Burgen also picked up two assists. Grace DeVries and Jenna Lawry scored the other goals for the Wildcats. The loss ended the season for the Wildcats. A full writeup of the game will appear in next week’s Press.