Cloquet-Esko-Carlton senior Taylor Nelson (5) wound into a shot that became her team's first goal in a 4-2 victory at Champlin Park/Coon Rapids. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
The Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls’ hockey team hadn’t played a game since before Christmas. Without a holiday tournament on their schedule, they continued with practices.
Any early rust they showed in their first game back Thursday came in the form of penalties: The Lumberjacks took five of them in the first period against Class 2A-opponent Champlin Park/Coon Rapids (9-7-0, 6-3-0).
“I think we were pretty disappointed the first period in terms of penalties,” said coach Courtney Olin. “I believe, prior to this game, we were averaging a penalty a game. I think it gave us a little bit of adversity to work through.”
They successfully chipped away after the rough start and ended up with a 4-2 victory at Champlin Ice Forum. The victory for the Lumberjacks, ranked No. 3 in the Class 1A coaches’ poll, pushed their winning streak to 11 games as they improved to 12-2-0 this season. They’ve outscored opponents 28-5 the past five games.
Lumberjacks teammates Taylor Nelson (5) and Kiana Bender (21) collided bringing the puck up the ice in the third period. The play ended in Bender's second goal and a 3-2 lead for Cloquet-Esko-Carlton. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
The Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls’ hockey team hadn’t played a game since before Christmas.
If there was any rust to speak of over the holidays, the Lumberjacks chipped away at it early and ended up with a 4-2 victory over Class 2A-opponent Champlin Park/Coon Rapids on Thursday evening at the Champlin Ice Forum.
The win extended the Lumberjacks’ winning streak to 11 games as they improved to 12-2-0 on the season. They’re ranked No. 3 in the Class 1A coaches’ poll.
The Lumberjacks (12-2-0, 2-0-0) got a short-handed goal from senior Taylor Nelson to tie the game 1-1 before senior Kiana Bender added a pair of goals to put the Lumberjacks ahead 3-2 in the third period. Sophomore Tenley Stewart made it 4-2 on her point shot with one second left on a 5-on-3 advantage. The Lumberjacks went a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill.
For Champlin Park/Coon Rapids (9-7-0, 6-3-0), junior Delaney Johnson had a pair of goals in the game, each coming in the first period, for the second game in a row.
In net, freshman Araya Kiminski made 20 saves for the Lumberjacks, while freshman Elyia Johnson stopped 12 shots at the other end.
The MN Girls' Hockey Hub poll is for entertainment purposes only.
Champlin Park/Coon Rapids junior Delaney Johnson rushed to bring the puck up the ice in the third period. Johnson's two first-period goals provided all the scoring for her team. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine