January 19, 2012 at 9:00 a.m.
Irondale 3, Chisago Lakes 1
The Wildcats played back-to-back games against conference foe Irondale and lost both games.
At Chisago Lakes Arena last Thursday, January 12, the Wildcats and Knights were knotted up 0-0 after two periods. Irondale broke the ice with a power play goal early in the third period and added an insurance goal a few minutes later to beat the Wildcats 2-0. Wildcat goalie Jake DuBose stopped 27 of the 29 shots he faced.
The rematch took place two days later at the Schwan's Super Rink in Blaine. Familiarity apparently bred contempt as the two teams combined to take 15 penalties for the game, leading to 13 power plays. One team or the other was a man short for over half the game. The Knights scored on two of their power play opportunities and led 2-0 with time running out in the second period. But Brandon Gillespie scored with just one second left in the period to cut the Knight lead to 2-1. Trevor Lushanko and Bradee Thompson picked up assists on the play.
Irondale scored an even strength goal at 10:56 of the third period to take a two goal lead. With just over two minutes left in the game, the Knights took two penalties just thirty seconds apart to give the Wildcats a two-man advantage for ninety seconds. But the Wildcats were stonewalled by the Knights. Time finally ran out on the Wildcats and they lost 3-1.
Chisago Lakes 6, Robbinsdale Cooper 1
In their next game, the Wildcats took out some of their frustrations on the Robbinsdale Cooper Hawks. Six different Wildcat players scored as the Wildcats grounded the Hawks 6-1 at New Hope Ice Arena this past Tuesday, January 17.
Brandon Gillespie and Cole Peloquin scored two minutes apart in the first period to give the Wildcats all the scoring they would need for the evening. Trevor Lushanko and Colton Reynolds assisted on Gillespie's Goal, and Peloquin's goal was unassisted. Lushanko at 10:28 of the second period, assisted by Danny Kimlinger and Reynolds, to bump the Wildcat lead to 3-0. The Wildcats were assessed a five minute boarding penalty at the same time. Under the new rules that went into effect in the wake of the Jack Jablonski tragedy, all boarding, head contact and checking-from-behind penalties are now five minutes. Cooper scored two minutes into the subsequent power play to cut the Wildcat lead to 3-1. But Kimlinger scored an unassisted shorthanded goal just 30 seconds later to push the Wildcat lead back to three.
The Hawks self destructed in the third period, taking a five minute penalty for head-butting and two more five-minute penalties for boarding. The Wildcats skated five-on-three for the last half of the third period and took advantage of it. Sargeant scored with two minutes left in the game, assisted by Reynolds and Lushanko. And Justin Bye scored with a minute left, assisted by Sargeant, to make the final score 6-1.
The Wildcats (7-11-0 overall, 1-4-0 conference) will play Benilde-St. Margaret's tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. at the St. Louis Park Recreation Center. Next Tuesday, January 24 they will head to Fogerty Arena in Blaine to play Spring Lake Park.