January 13, 2005 at 10:47 a.m.
Not that’s what Al Magnuson has been looking for. With three weeks left before sections begin, it might be just in time.
“It” is the type of hockey that Magnuson saw from his team last season, right about this time of year, when the ‘Cats made their final push towards a state tournament berth. Last Tuesday versus Totino-Grace, the Wildcats showed flashes of “it.”
Things didn’t necessarily start out that way. On the heels of back-to-back goals by Anna McDonald, Amanda Rammer scored Chisago’s first goal of the game late in the first period on the power play. The goal came late in the first, cutting the deficit to 2-1. It was just the beginning.
“They didn’t get down on themselves. Before, when they were down 2-0, they would get down and that would change their mood and the way they played. They didn’t do that this time,” said Magnuson, Chisago Lakes head girls hockey coach.
No instead, they exploded.
Eleven seconds into the second period, Nicole Grossmann continued her fantastic season by tying the game with a shorthanded goal, making the score 2-2. Six minutes later, the senior did it again, popping off an unassisted goal at the 10:41 mark, giving the ‘Cats their first lead of the game, 3-2. After the Eagles tied the game back up with six minutes left in the second, Grossmann finished the period with a bang, scoring her third goal of the period 30 seconds later, moving the ‘Cats in front 4-3.
“I gave her a challenge before the game,” remarked Magnuson, referring to Grossmann’s inspired play. “I said to her, tonight I wanted her to be the best player on the ice and she accepted the challenge.”
Oh she was, and if three goals didn’t prove that, for good measure, Grossmann added a fourth goal in the third, putting the finishing touches on a 5-3 Chisago win. Despite struggling early, Grossmann and the Wildcats cruised to their second win in a row and their eighth victory of the season.
“The girls were getting hungry. They knew that they were finally playing the style of hockey that they were playing last year. I think they got that feeling back,” stated Magnuson. “I think they were feeling like that game could be the one that turns the corner, but after the game, I kept telling them that we have to string five or six together before we’re back on track.”
Chisago Lakes 5
1 2 3 F
Chisago Lakes 1 3 1 5
Totino-Grace 2 1 -- 3
1) TG- McDonald (Donnelly) 10:46; 2) TG- McDonald (Bennek) 10:15; 3) CL- Rammer (pp) (L. Medellin, Fors) 5:21.
4) CL- Grossmann (sh) (Fredrickson) 16:49; 5) CL- Grossmann (unassisted) 10:41; 6) TG- Meyers (pp) (Donnelly) 6:13; 7) CL- Grossmann (unassisted) 5:36.
8) CL- Grossmann (unassisted) 8:38.
Chisago Lakes 5
How about three in a row.
Three days after their impressive win over Totino, the Wildcats blasted Rogers at home 5-0, giving them their third win in a row and their ninth win of the season.
Despite putting 15 shots on goal in the first period, Rogers goalie Laura Holmes was awesome, stopping everything she saw. Other than that, the Wildcats dominated the first period in every aspect of the game. Still, the score was 0-0 after one.
That changed in the second. First, Grossmann scored her fifth goal in two games 21 seconds into the period before Cassi Lukas chipped in with the ‘Cats second goal two minutes later. Leading 2-0, Rammer added to the lead, making it 3-0 at the end of two periods of play. After putting 15 shots on net in the first, the ‘Cats out-shot Rogers 18-3 in the second.
“Rogers is really, really young,” mentioned Magnuson. “That goalie is good for Rogers, I even said something to their coach at the end of the game, but we out-shot them 48-4 in the game and it could have been more. It wasn’t much of a game but it helped us build some more confidence and that’s what we need.”
Two special teams goals completed the scoring for Chisago. First, on the power play, Lexi Medellin made it 4-0 with assists going to Rhiannon Sauter and Lexy Parenteau. Finally, with 29 seconds left to play, Grossmann threw the knockout punch with a shorthanded tally, her sixth goal over the last two games. Fredrickson and Parenteau picked up assists on that goal. For the game, Grossmann and Parenteau each finished with three points. Sauter finished with two assists.
“Hopefully our confidence is coming back in every part of our game. We still have a ways to go. The girls are starting to play like last year, but we still need to get Parenteau back to 100 percent and Lukas has been scoring for us lately and she’s not 100 percent yet,” said Magnuson. “Once I think everyone gets back healthy, we will be back to that level we were playing at last year in three weeks when sections begin.”
Now is the time. The ‘Cats have six games left on the schedule including two more section games this week.
Chisago Lakes 5
1 2 3 F
Rogers --- --- --- 0
Chisago Lakes --- 3 2 5
1) CL- Grossmann (Parenteau) :21; 2) CL- Lukas (Grossmann) 2:55; 3) CL- Rammer (Sauter) 8:12.
4) CL- L. Medellin (pp) (Parenteau, Sauter); 5) CL- Grossmann (sh) (Fredrickson, Parenteau) 16:31.
BY CHUCK FITZER
Chisago Lakes 5
Superior (Wisc.) 0
While the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers football teams battled it out at Lambeau Field this past weekend, the Chisago Lakes Wildcats and the Superior Spartans hockey teams had a border battle of their own. And the games and results were similar. Both games featured excitement, controversy and a win by the Minnesota team, as the Vikings defeated the Packers 31-17 on Sunday and the Wildcats dominated Superior 5-0 last Saturday night at Chisago Lakes Arena
The difference in the two games was that, while the Vikings got off to a fast start on the scoreboard, the Wildcats didn’t get a goal till halfway through the second period despite controlling play for nearly the entire game, outshooting the Spartans 25-12.
The Spartan strategy seemed to be to use all their energy playing hard defensively and getting the puck out of their zone, taking advantage of breakout opportunities when they presented themselves. Goalie Jackie Weiden stopped three such breakout chances in the second period, with the third one being a spectacular leg pad save that represented the Spartans’ last real scoring opportunity of the game.
“Jackie came up big for us,” enthused Wildcat head girls hockey coach Al Magnuson. “We had some defensive breakdowns in the second period and she kept the Spartans off the board when it counted.”
Meanwhile, the Wildcats were getting down to the business of scoring. At 7:27 of the second period, defenseman Cassi Lukas was Cassi-on-the-spot as she stuffed a rebound of a Nicole Grossmann shot into the corner of the net for a 1-0 lead. Anne Fredrickson received the other assist on the play.
The Wildcats’ next goal, scored three minutes before the end of the period, was a strange one. Rhiannon Sauter, set up on a nice play by Amanda Rammer and Lexi Medellin, fired a shot at the net. No one saw what happened to the puck, so everyone assumed the puck was underneath the goalie. But when the goalie got up, the puck wasn’t there. One of the referees happened to notice that the puck was mostly hidden underneath the thick white edge of the net, and the only way it could have gotten there was to go past the goalie inside the post. So they called it a goal and moved the face-off out to center ice. There was no celebration or excitement, and no one in the crowd knew it was a goal till it showed up on the scoreboard.
Just under two minutes into the third period, Rhiannon Sauter wrapped the puck around the Spartan net and tried to stuff it in the corner. The puck rebounded out to Lexi Medellin, who fired the puck into the net to make the score 3-0.
Late in the third period, things got ugly. The teams had only three penalties between them in the first two and a half periods of the game, but combined for ten penalties in the last half of the third period as the Spartans began to take out their frustrations on the Wildcats, igniting the aforementioned controversy – even though the Spartans appeared to be the instigators of the violence, the Wildcats ended up with almost as many penalties at the Spartans.
When a Wildcat went off for hooking at 13:40 of the third period, the Spartans pulled their goalie to give themselves a six-on-four advantage. But their desperation strategy backfired as Anne Fredrickson picked up a loose puck, skated toward the Spartan zone and shot the puck into the empty net for a shorthanded goal at 14:26 to put the Wildcats up 4-0.
Finally, the Wildcats final goal came, appropriately, on a power play with a minute left in the game as Megan Fors put away a rebound of Heather Medellin’s shot to make the final score Wildcats 5, Spartans 0.
“It got pretty chippy at the end. Amanda Rammer got whacked over the head with a stick and Heather Medellin took an uppercut right under the chin, neither of which were called as penalties,” remarked Magnuson. “I’m very proud of both of them for not retaliating. For the most part, the forwards came back and stopped the Spartans whenever they were in the zone. It took a lot of pressure off of our defense and totally frustrated the other team.”
The win moved the Wildcats winning streak to four games.
Chisago Lakes 5
Superior (Wisc.) 0
1 2 3 F
Superior --- --- --- 0
Chisago Lakes --- 2 3 5
1) CL- Lukas (Grossmann, Fredrickson) 7:27; 2) CL- Sauter (Rammer, L. Medellin) 13:45.
3) CL- L. Medellin (Sauter) 11:58; 4) CL- Fredrickson (sh) (unassisted) 14:20; 5) Fors (pp) (H. Medellin) 16:01.
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