January 26, 2012 at 8:31 a.m.
Benilde-St. Margaret's, ranked number one in Class AA, outshot the Wildcats 39-7 on their way to a 9-0 shutout win Tuesday, January 17 at Chisago Lakes Arena. "We skated with them in the first period," said Wildcat head coach Jason Mahlen. "They scored three goals and really built some momentum. You've got to get some breaks to have a chance against the top team in the state. And teams like Benilde finish when they get their chances to score,"
Chisago Lakes 6, St. Francis/North Branch (SFNB) 1
The last time these two teams played, SFNB played a defensive, pack-it-in style of hockey that kept the game close for two periods before the Wildcats blew it open in the third period. But last Saturday, January 21, the Wildcats thwarted any attempts by SFNB to keep the game close. The Wildcats scored three times in the first period on their way to a 6-1 win over SFNB in a game played at East Bethel Arena. The big guns did most of the scoring for the Wildcats in this one. Allison Borgstrom two goals and an assist, Katie Johnson scored two goals and Megan Lushanko put up a goal and two assists.
Johnson led off the scoring with a power play goal on a nice snapshot from the point midway through the first period, with Lushanko picking up an assist. Borgstrom scored her first goal a few minutes later, also assisted by Lushanko. Miranda Beimert scored on a shot from the point at the 14:24 mark of the period, assisted by Anna Petersen, to give the Wildcats a 3-0 lead after one.
The Wildcats added two more goals in the second period. Borgstrom scored her second goal at 11:58, assisted by Ashlee Ricci. Johnson scored her second goal less than two minutes later, with Allison Ives assisting on the play. Lushanko made a nice move on a breakaway to score a couple of minutes into the third period and make the Wildcat lead 6-0. Laura Monson and Borgstrom each picked up an assist. SFNB's Maddi Kaehler scored at 7:43 of the period to spoil Jamie Dobosenski's bid for a shutout. Dobosenski stopped 13 of 14 shots as she picked up the win.
Wildcat head coach Jason Mahlen said "I was a little bit worried they were going to do the same thing to us defensively this time. But after we popped a couple goals in the first period, we took control of the game and played in their offensive zone for most of the game after that. We got a chance to play our third and fourth lines more in the third period."
Mahlen talked about one of his seniors. "We've been encouraging Katie Johnson to shoot the puck more," he said. "She's got a good, hard shot and is great at deking the defense. . In the first period tonight, she ripped a shot so hard that coaches on both teams looked at it in awe. I was happy to see that, in addition to her two goals, she fired the puck on net a few other times.
Mahlen to Receive Award
Wildcat head coach Jason Mahlen will be honored, along with 11 other coaches, with the 3M-Minnesota Wild Excellence in Coaching award at the Excel Center in St. Paul between periods of the Wild game next Tuesday, January 31. Coaches are nominated by their peers for the award, which is given to coaches with these qualities: display good sportsmanship towards team, parents and officials; display positive youth sports experience and teaching methods through the game of hockey; show respect for players, parents and officials in all situations; teach positive life skills, allowing kids to benefit from the team experience; and dedicate time both on and off the ice to support community initiatives.
The award means a lot to Mahlen, who was quick to give credit to others when asked about it. He said "This award is a product of our coaching staff, including Tom Johnson and Mark Gibson. I think it's a reflection of our whole program. I am lucky enough to be the head coach and have great players and great assistants, which makes my job a lot easier. And it feels good when one of your coaching peers, someone outside of your inner circle, nominates you for an award like this."
Receiving the Excellence in Coaching Award also makes Mahlen eligible for the Charlie Stryker Coach of the Year Award, which will be awarded later this season.
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