February 9, 2006 at 7:21 a.m.
The Wildcats came out flying and dominated play for most of the game, but had to settle for a 2-2 overtime tie with the Providence Academy Lions Tuesday, January 31 at the Plymouth Ice Center.
It looked like it might be an easy win for the Wildcats when they got on the board less than a minute into the game’s opening period. Lance Baumgard scored the goal before much of the crowd had even settled into their seats at the arena’s brand-new third sheet of ice. Assists went to C.J. Hoffman and Aaron Slagle.
The Wildcats, who outshot the Lions 38-18 for the game, hammered away at goalie Michael Taffe, an eighth-grader, for the entire game, but he stood firm. The Lions tied the game late in the first period and pulled ahead by a goal in the second. The Wildcats tied it early in the third period when C.J. Hoffman’s extra effort kept a puck in the Lion zone near the right point. Lance Baumgard got a hold of the puck, walked in and fired. Luke Angrimson slid the rebound into the open left side of the net to make the score 2-2.
After that, the Wildcats’ best scoring chance came with 4:16 left in the third period. Jimmy Bergren had a shorthanded breakaway, faked left and slid the puck to his backhand. But Taffe anticipated Bergren’s move and slid over to block the shot. The Wildcats had several good chances in overtime, but the Lions withstood the onslaught and the game ended tied 2-2.
Chisago Lakes 3, Mora 0
The Wildcats continued their dominating play as they took on the Mora Mustangs Thursday, February 2 at Mora, outshooting the Mustangs 42-18. Chisago won 3-0.
The Wildcats scored a goal in each period. Just 3:18 into the game, Scott Liebsch scored a beautiful wraparound goal. He raced hard down the left side of the ice, cut behind the net and, without slowing, jammed the puck into the right corner of the net for a 1-0 Wildcat lead.
In the second period, Aaron Slagle and Luke Angrimson worked a give-and-go on a two-on-two. Just after they crossed the blue line, Slagle passed the puck across to Angrimson. Angrimson skated wide right, taking a defenseman with him, and passed the puck back to Slagle, who buried a shot from the left side of the goal to put the Wildcats up by two. Angrimson scored the game’s final goal in the third period as he carried the puck to the bottom of the right circle and snapped off a hard wrist shot to beat the Mora goalie and make the final score Chisago Lakes 3, Mora 0. Wildcat goalie Tom Fitzer stopped all 18 Mustang shots to record his first shutout of the season.
Chisago Lakes 7, North Branch 0
Scott Liebsch scored a pure hat trick in the third period and Bob LeVasseur added four assists as the Wildcats picked up two points in the North Suburban Conference standings with a 7-0 victory over the North Branch Vikings.
Vikings goalie Chris Lindberg held up well against the Chisago Lakes onslaught, stopping 39 of the Wildcats’ 46 shots. The Wildcats spread out the scoring in the first two periods, with Lance Baumgard, C.J. Hoffman, D.J. Haus and Luke Angrimson each picking up a goal. Liebsch scored the game’s last three goals, including two in one shift early in the third period. Goalie Tom Fitzer picked up his second shutout in a row for the Wildcats.
“I’m proud of our guys,” said Wildcat head coach Corey McKinnon. “We played three games and only gave up two goals. But we had over 100 shots and only scored 10 goals. Part of that was hot goaltending, but we also need to work on those things goal scorers do to put the puck in the net. Scotty Liebsch scored some of those goal scorer’s goals last week and ended up with a well-deserved hat trick. On the goal against Mora, he was moving at full speed all through the wraparound. He always moves at full speed in practice, too, and I believe that you can only play as hard as you practice. His hard work paid off,” the coach observed.
“Bob LeVasseur’s been playing very well for us lately. He’s been a little snakebit from a goal scoring standpoint, but he’s been doing a lot of other things to help us win. Against North Branch, he threaded a beautiful pass through four of their players on the way to Liebsch’s first goal. Bob’s greatest asset is that he can play and still have a smile on his face no matter whether the puck is going in the net or not. He just works hard and keeps going. He and Scotty have been playing on the same line together for quite some time and complement each other well. Scotty’s more of a digger in front of the net and Bob’s more of a perimeter player and is a big part of our goal production.“
Wildcat senior defenseman Zack Stimson has missed most of the past three games with an injury suffered in the victory over St. Francis. His status is day-to-day. He’ll very likely return before the section playoffs beginning in a couple of weeks.
The Wildcats will finish out their conference season this week with a three-game flurry. They were scheduled to host Tri-City Tuesday, February 7. They’ll stay at home to face the North Branch Vikings Friday, February 10 at 7:30 p.m. in a game rescheduled because of the Lindstrom power outage earlier in the season.
Saturday, February 11, The Wildcats will travel to New Hope Ice Arena to take on the Robbinsdale Cooper Hawks. Note that the game time has changed to 3 p.m.
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