Through three games, it’s safe to say Chisago Lakes has a knack for setting the tone early this winter.
The Wildcats picked up an impressive 3-2 triumph over defending Class 1A state champion Breck in their season opener to seemingly set high expectations.
Chisago Lakes continued that trend Friday, scoring less than 30 seconds into their matchup against Simley at Veterans Memorial Community Center in Inver Grove Heights. The Wildcats rode that early momentum and held on to pick up a 5-3 win.
The first goal came from Chisago Lakes (2-1) after the Wildcats won the opening faceoff and raced down to the net. After the team’s first shot hit the pipe, senior forward Sydney Boyle pounced on the rebound and pushed it past Simley junior goaltender Mackenzie Gibson to open the scoring.
“We’re the kind team that wants to jump on another team early,” said Wildcats coach Dave Burgen. “If we can get a puck in the net early, it changes the momentum for us a lot.”
Following Boyle’s goal, Chisago Lakes, ranked No. 2 in the Class 1A coaches’ poll, was powered by the duo of junior Dani Burgen and senior Jenna Lawry. The forwards contributed to each of the Wildcats’ final four goals.
After Chisago Lakes senior forward Sydney Boyle scored 28 seconds into Friday’s game, junior forward Dani Burgen took the reins of the Wildcat offense. Her four-goal performance was key in Chisago Lakes coming away with a 5-3 defeat of Simley at Veterans Memorial Community Center in Inver Grove Heights.
Following Boyle’s tally in the game’s opening seconds, things settled a bit before the Wildcats, ranked No. 2 in the Class 1A coaches’ poll, added to their lead with Burgen’s first goal of the contest.
Despite the slow start, Simley (2-2) inched its way back into the game and kept tightening the margin to one goal throughout the game. Trailing 2-0 in the first period, junior forward Olivia Juers got her team on the board with her third goal of the season.
The teams continued to trade goals. More specifically, the scoring battle became Burgen versus the Spartans. Burgen, a Minnesota State Mankato commit, added three goals in the final two periods for Chisago Lakes (2-1).
Burgen’s third goal put the Wildcats ahead 4-2. Simley mounted a late comeback as senior forward Kate Carlson made it 4-3 with less than five minutes remaining in regulation. The Spartans could not find the equalizer, however, as Chisago Lakes senior goaltender Anna Hanson shut her opponent down en route to a 27-save performance.
On the other side, Simley junior goalie Mackenzie Gibson finished with 12 saves.
The MN Girls' Hockey Hub poll is for entertainment purposes only.