January 20, 2023 at 3:27 p.m.

'Cats stretch shutout streak to three, get back to .500


Chisago Lakes 8, Northern Edge 0
The Wildcats boys’ hockey team crushed struggling Northern Edge (1-11) 8-0 Tuesday, January 10 at East Bethel Ice Arena.  The Wildcats completely shut down the Edge’s offense, outshooting them 31-11.  Cam Stangl scored two goals for the Wildcats, and six other players scored one goal apiece:  Jack Bakken, Nick Jinks, Cullen Dorcas, Drake Thyen, Andrew Swanson, and Brock Thompson.  Picking up two assists each were Bakken, Dylan Dassner, Tim Madden, and Griffin Perreault.  Jinks, Dorcas, Ben Kerkow, Colin Dunleavy, Swanson, and Nate Bluhm each had one assist.

Monticello 4, Chisago Lakes 1
The Monticello Moose broke open a close game with two goals late in the third period and beat the Wildcats 4-1 Thursday, January 12 at Moose Sherritt Ice Arena in Monticello.  The Wildcats outshot the Moose 38-32 for the game.  “I was happy with our performance,” said Wildcat head coach Cory Lushanko.  “We outshot them and at times outplayed them.  They are a perennial state tournament team.  They have a really hot goaltender.  And we don’t have the firepower we had last year, so we need to work to find and manufacture goals.  We have to relay on all three lines and four or five defensemen, and I like that from a team aspect.”

Nik Jinks scored the Wildcats’ only goal at 4:17 of the second period to tie the game at 1-1.  Jack Bakken and Nate Bluhm picked up the assists.  Monticello scored later in the period to retake the lead.  The Wildcats stayed within one until the Moose scored at 13:25 of the third period to make the score 3-1.  The Moose added an empty-netter with seven seconds left for the final margin of victory.

Chisago Lakes 3, South St. Paul 1
The Wildcats scored twice late in the first period and went on to beat the South St. Paul Packers 3-1 Saturday, January 14 at Doug Woog Arena in South St. Paul.  “We had total control in this one,” said Wildcat head coach Cory Lushanko.  “We gave up that power play goal, but other than that they really posed no threat during the game.  It easily could have been 6-1 or 7-1.  Their goalie was good.  And this was a big win against a section opponent.”

Griffin Perreault got the Wildcats on the board at 11:45 of the first period, assisted by Cullen Dorcas and Ben Kerkow.  And with 36 seconds left in the period, Max Bobrowski scored his first varsity goal, with Nolan Purdy and Brock Thompson picking up the assists.  Lushanko said “It was nice to see Max score his first varsity goal.  He’s getting the opportunity to play – this was his first full varsity game – and he is taking advantage of it.  He has been doing well at practice and on the JV.  It’s fun for anyone to get that first goal out of the way and we were really excited for him.”

After the Packers scored the only goal of the second period, Nik Jinks scored midway through the third period, assisted by Dustin Palewicz, to give the Wildcats some breathing room.  The game got chippy at the end, with a player from each team sent off for roughing with just over two minutes to go.  Each team pick up another minor before the game ended.  Wildcat goalie Jack Hanson stopped 17 of the 18 shots he faced to pick up the win.

Hockey Hullaballoo
The surging Wildcats started the season 0-4-1 but have won five of their last six games to even their record at 5-5-1.  Lushanko said “We had a lot of cancellations and missed practice time for various reasons early in the season.  Now we are starting to find our identity and are moving things in the right direction.  We need to keep it going.  We are getting into our groove, rocking and rolling.  We haven’t played poorly since before the new year.  Last year, we started 7-1 and didn’t face much adversity before sections.  But we have a lot tougher schedule this year, and we will be more battle-tested as we head into the playoffs.”

The Wildcats will head to Princeton First Bank & Trust Ice Arena to take on the Becker/Big Lake Eagles tonight at 7:15 p.m.  On Saturday, they will welcome the Forest Lake Rangers to Chisago Lakes Arena for a 6:30 p.m. showdown for local bragging rights.  And on Tuesday, January 24 they will head up to Pine City Civic Center to face the Pine City Dragons at 7 p.m.

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