11/21/2019 3:18:00 PM Chisago Lakes girls hockey off to fast start with 3-0 record
Were you just thinking ‘if it’s cold out, high school hockey season must be here’? Well, you’re in luck. The Wildcat girls’ team started the season off with a bang, winning all three of its games as things got underway last week.
Chisago Lakes 5, Rosemount 3 Malia Mckinnon scored on a rebound at 6:37 to break a 3-3 tie against the Rosemount Irish in the season opener at home last Tuesday, November 12 at Chisago Lakes Arena. Jenna Lawry added an empty-netter with 30 seconds to go as the Wildcats beat the Irish 5-3.
Early on, it looked like the Wildcats were going to run away with this one. On a power play midway through the first period, Mckinnon carried the puck deep into the Rosemount zone along the left boards. She passed the puck back to Jenna Lawry at the top of the left circle. Lawry sent it over to Dani Burgen in the high slot and Burgen ripped a shot over the goalie’s blocker and into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead. With 90 seconds left in the period, Lawry dumped the puck into the right corner in the Irish zone. McKinnon dug it out and sent it to Burgen in the right faceoff dot. Burgen shot the puck over the goalie’s pad just inside the left post to put the Wildcats up 2-0.
The Wildcats went up 3-0 less than a minute into the second period. The Irish center won a faceoff to the left of her team’s net, but she pulled the puck right to Wildcat Kaitlyn Hansen standing at the left hash. Hansen shot it over the goalie’s blocker for her first varsity goal and the Wildcats led 3-0. But the big lead didn’t last long. The Irish scored twice in the next three minutes to cut the Wildcat lead to 3-2. And just under five minutes into the third period, the Irish scored to tie the game at 3-3.
But after having blown the lead, it didn’t take long for the Wildcats to respond. Two minutes later, Burgen sent a cross ice pass to Lawry in the Irish zone. The Irish goalie knocked the puck into the corner. Lawry chased down the puck and threw it to the front of the net. Mckinnon, standing at the left post, swung her stick and tapped it in to put the Wildcats up 4-3. And late in the game, a couple of nice passes from Grace DeVries and Burgen set up Lawry for the empty-netter from the blue line to seal the win.
“This is the start we were looking for,” said Wildcat head coach Dave Burgen. “Rosemount is a decent double-A school, so it was a little nerve-wracking going into it. And it’s our first game, so we haven’t formed an identity yet. But we won, so it’s ‘here we go, good things will happen.’ The key is to keep the players humble, hungry and relentless throughout the season.”
Chisago Lakes 4, Totino Grace 2 With the Wildcats skating against the Totino Grace Eagles in their first road game of the season, Jenna Lawry and Claire DeVries scored two goals apiece to give the Wildcats a 4-0 lead after two periods. The Eagles rallied in the third period, but the Wildcats held them off and came away with a 4-2 win. The game was played Thursday, November 14 at the Brooklyn Park Community Center.
With just under two minutes left in the first period, Dani Burgen sent a pass to Lawry at the left faceoff dot in front of the Eagle net. Lawry moved to the left edge of the circle and, with the goalie screened, shot the puck off the left post and in to put the Wildcats up 1-0. With nine seconds left in the period and the Wildcats forechecking hard, DeVries picked off a pass at the Eagle blue line, skated down the middle and beat the goalie on the stick side to put the Wildcats up 2-0.
Early in the second period, with the Wildcats killing off a penalty, Lawry was bearing down on an Eagle player who was trying to move the puck up ice from the left circle in the Eagle zone. The Eagle player put the puck right on Lawry’s stick and she buried the puck inside the left post to make the score 3-0 at the 5:25 mark of the period. And with just under five minutes to go in the period, Syd Boyle won the race to a puck in the left corner in the Totino Grace zone. DeVries was skating down from the high slot yelling for the puck. Boyle threw it to the front of the net. The goalie got her skate on it, but it rebounded right up the middle and DeVries tapped it in for a 4-0 Wildcat lead. Wildcat head coach Dave Burgen said, “That was a real heads up play by both players.”
The Eagles scored twice in the third period, but it was too little, too late as the Wildcats won 4-2 and improved to 2-0.
Chisago Lakes 4, Holy Angels 3 1:50 into overtime, either Laine DeVries or Syd Boyle scored the game winner on a bizarre play to give the Wildcats a 4-3 win over the Holy Angels/Richfield Stars. The gave was played last Saturday, November 16 at Chisago Lakes Arena.
The only goal of the first period came on a great individual effort by Kaitlyn Hansen. Hansen picked up the puck in the Wildcats end just inside the blue line at the left wall. She beat the defenseman to the middle of the ice, skated into the Star zone and fired a shot into the upper corner of the net to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead with four minutes left in the period.
The Stars tied it up early in the second period. But with 90 seconds remaining in the period and the Wildcats on a power play, Megan Bye skated out from the corner towards the blue line and sent a pass to Dani Burgen out front. The goalie saved Burgen’s initial shot, but Jenna Lawry flipped the rebound under the crossbar to make the score 2-1. Just under a minute into the third period, the Stars tied the game at 2-2 with a power play goal. Midway through the period, Dylan Grilz stole the puck at the left half wall and fired a shot. The rebound came straight out right to Burgen. She sent the puck into the upper right corner to give the Wildcats yet another one-goal lead.
This time, it looked like the lead would hold up. The Stars had pulled their goalie and there was a faceoff with ten seconds to go to the right of the Wildcat net. The Stars won the faceoff cleanly and, with Wildcat goalie Anna Hanson screened, fired a shot over her glove and into the net with five seconds on the clock to send the game into overtime.
In overtime, Megan Bye won the faceoff in the left circle in the Star zone and sent the puck into the corner. DeVries skated into the corner, picked up the puck and, from a couple of feet outside the goal line, sent the puck in the air toward the front of the net. Boyle swung at it with her stick. The puck either hit Boyle’s stick or a Holy Angels defenseman and went into the net to give the Wildcats the win. Wildcat head coach Dave Burgen said “Even after watching that one several times on tape, I still can’t tell exactly how the puck went into the net. But no matter. It was a garbage type of goal and it won the game for us.”
The Wildcats have rotated between Anna Kittleson and Anna Hanson in the nets for the first three games and it is working well so far. Burgen said “Both goalies are making some nice saves early in the game that are giving us positive momentum.”
Hockey Hullaballoo The Wildcats have won their first three games of the season for the first time in recent memory.
Rosemount sophomore Whitney Tuttle will join Wildcat sophomore Dani Burgen in the 2022-2023 season at Division 1 Minnesota State University (Mankato).
The Wildcats will have a couple of away games before the Thanksgiving break. They will play the Hastings Raiders tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Hastings Civic Arena. On Monday, they will head to the St. Croix Valley Recreation Center in Stillwater to take on the Mahtomedi Zephyrs at 7:30 p.m.