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March 20, 2019

2/22/2019 10:42:00 AM
Girls hockey season ends at the hands of Mpls.

Minneapolis 5, Chisago Lakes 3
The Wildcat girls’ hockey team was one win away from reaching their main goal this season – to get a shot at Breck in the Section 5A championship game.  But in the section semifinal game on Tuesday, February 12, the Wildcats ran into a hot goalie and lost to the Minneapolis Novas 5-3.  The Wildcat season ended one game short of their goal.  The game was played at Parade Ice Garden in Minneapolis.

The Wildcats got on the scoreboard at 9:58 of the first period.  While on the power play, Jenna Lawry kicked the puck from deep in the slot to Grace DeVries at the top of the left circle.  DeVries ripped a slapshot that was partially screened by Claire DeVries in front of the het.  The puck hit Minneapolis goalie Maeve Tallman.  A Nova defenseman shoved Claire DeVries on top of Tallman and the puck fell into the net to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.  But the Novas took advantage of a 2-on-1 and Anna Melnyk tied it up on a backhander just 25 seconds later.

The Novas scored the only goal of the second period at 11:39.  Danielle Burgen got taken down with a high stick in the corner in the Wildcat zone and no penalty was called.  Celia Midtbo scored for the Novas just seconds later to go up 2-1.  The Wildcats got that goal back at 4:58 of the third period.  Burgen stole the puck at the Wildcat blue line and sent it up the ice off the left wall.  Lawry picked it up as she skated into the Nova zone.  Using a defenseman as a screen, Lawry shot from inside the top of the left circle and the puck flew just inside the right post to tie the game at 2-2.  The tie didn’t last long.  Just 28 seconds later, a Nova player took a shot from the point.  Elyse Wilton blocked it for the Wildcats.  But the puck landed right in front of the stick of Nova player Talia Christman and she buried it to give the Novas a 3-2 lead.

The biggest goal of the game came two minutes later.  Maddy Helmstetter came into the Wildcat zone one-on-one.  The Wildcat defenseman played it well.  Helmstetter shot and somehow snuck the puck through the five-hole to give the Novas a two-goal lead at 4-2.  The Wildcats took their timeout to regroup.

Late in the third period, the Wildcats pulled the goalie and it paid off.    Danielle Burgen skated into the Minneapolis zone with the puck.  She took a shot and the puck rebounded all the way to the half wall.  Claire DeVries passed the puck to Burgen in the slot.  Burgen backhanded it inside the left post at 15:14 to pull the Wildcats within one.  But with just over a minute left in the game, the Wildcats turned the puck over at their own blue line.  Nova player Erica Lieske skated a couple of steps and, from near the wall, fired the puck all the way down the ice and into the empty net to make the score 5-3.  The Wildcats had a bit of hope when they got a wide-open chance at the net just a few seconds later, but the shot went wide, and less than a minute later, the Wildcat season was over.

Wildcat head coach Dave Burgen said “We had our chances in this one.  We outshot them 31-22 for the game.  Their goalie carried the team on her shoulders.  We’ve told the girls all season that the first team to four goals usually wins, and that proved to be true tonight.  I couldn’t be more proud of the way Molly Hill and Maddi Klun showed their senior leadership all season.”

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