3/5/2021 10:25:00 AM Sizzling hot streak continues for top-ranked 'Cats
Chisago Lakes 4, Minneapolis 2 The Wildcats played their worst period of the season in the first period against Minneapolis on Thursday, February 25. Officially, Minneapolis outshot the Wildcats 8-0, but the true Minneapolis shot count was 14 or 15. Whatever the count, Wildcat goalie Anna Hanson stopped every one of those shots, so the game was still scoreless at the end of one. The Wildcats finally woke up midway through the second period and went on to beat Minneapolis 4-2. The game was played at Chisago Lakes Arena.
In the first period, Hanson stopped breakaways, two-on-ones, and other great scoring opportunities. A shot midway through the period tipped off the top of her glove and rose just enough to clang off the crossbar. Later in the period, a puck hit the inside of her right pad and bounced harmlessly off the left post. “I thought our girls underestimated Minneapolis early in the game,” said Wildcat head coach Dave Burgen. “But just because they don’t have any stars does not mean they are not a good team. They are well-coached. And this is the team that knocked us out of sections last year. But we weathered that storm. Anna Hanson is a great part of our success this season.”
Just over a minute into the second period, Minneapolis fired one in from the left point to go up 1-0. It was the first time all season that the Wildcats did not score the first goal in a game. The Wildcats tied it up at 9:29 of the period on just their third shot on goal of the game. Jenna Lawry rocketed a pass from the right corner to Dani Burgen standing about ten feet in front of the net. Burgen one-timed it through the five-hole to make it 1-1. The Wildcats took the lead just 36 seconds later. Burgen sent a pass from the right faceoff dot to Dani Brunette standing in front of the net and Brunette buried it to give the Wildcats a 2-1 lead.
The Wildcats scored on a power play three minutes into the third period. Burgen fired a shot towards the net from the faceoff dot from the right circle and Brunette tipped it in to make the score 3-1. Lawry scored on a nice pass from Burgen at 10:43 to stretch the lead to 4-1. Minneapolis scored on a breakaway a couple of minutes later to cut the lead to two. The Wildcats killed off a penalty taken at 12:17. Surprisingly, Minneapolis never pulled their goalie, even after they took a timeout with 1:11 left in the game. Officially, Minneapolis outshot the Wildcats 26-14 for the game, and Hanson stopped 24 of the 26 shots she faced.
Chisago Lakes 3, Mound Westonka 2 Dani Brunette scored at 5:46 of the third period to break a 2-2 tie and the Wildcats hung on to beat the fourth-ranked Mound Westonka White Hawks 3-2 Saturday, February 27 at Mound-Thaler Hockey Arena.
Kaitlyn Hansen scored a power play goal midway through the first period, assisted by Dani Burgen and Dani Brunette to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead. Burgen shot the puck low on the ice and Hansen tapped it in the back door. The Wildcats have scored on 37% of their power plays this season, which is one of the top percentages in the state. Just under three minutes into the second period, Jenna Lawry skated behind the White Hawk net from left to right and sent an unbelievable pass to Burgen at the left side of the net. Burgen roofed it into the short side of the net to make it 2-0.
Brunette’s third period goal came with a bit of luck. From deep in the Wildcat end, Elyse Wilton passed the puck to Kayla Bluhm on the right half wall in the Wildcat zone. As Brunette came off the bench on shift change, Bluhm sent it to her at the red line. Brunette skated over the blue line and took a shot. It hit a defenseman’s stick a few feet in front of the net and knuckled over the goalie’s shoulder and into the back of the net to give the Wildcats a 3-2 lead they would never relinquish.
“Dani Burgen and Jenna have been playing together since they were six,” said Wildcat head coach Dave Burgen, “so they know where the other one is going to be on the ice. As they play on the same line with Dani Brunette, the three of them are getting more and more deadly together. Brunette has out last three game-winning goals.”
Burgen talked about the value of the Wildcats’ second line. He said “ Our second line – Nora DeVries, Kaya Bluhm and Syd Boyle – works hard to keep the other team from scoring and are starting to score a bit more themselves. In road games, our opponents use their ability to change last before a faceoff to match their first line against our second line. But our second line has been doing a great job holding off these first lines from other teams. Freshman Brooke Klemz is also a key part of that line, spelling each of the other three players when they need a break.”