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Hibbing/Chisholm shuts out South St. Paul in Kaposia Classic quarterfinal matchup

By Thad Carroll, SportsEngine, 12/29/16, 5:45PM CST


Abby Edstrom finished with 27 saves to defeat the Packers and send the Bluejackets to the semifinals.

Hibbing-Chisholm forward Rachael Skorich put the puck between Kaity McKenzie's wickets for the first goal of their 3-0 win Thursday night against South Saint Paul in the Kaposia Classic Invitational. Photo by Thad Carroll, SportsEngine

Hibbing/Chisholm came into Thursday night on a three-game losing streak, but that was remedied with a 3-0 win over South St. Paul in the Kaposia Classic Invitational quarterfinals at Doug Woog Arena in South St. Paul.

“We hadn’t played a game in two weeks, so we were left with that bitter taste in our mouths,” Hibbing/Chisholm coach Emily Erickson said. "We mentioned that to the girls before the game."

The Bluejackets (6-5), ranked No. 12 in the Class 1A coaches' poll, were outshot 27-21 but took advantage of their few scoring chances while goaltender Abby Edstrom shoved aside all opposing opportunities.

“We just couldn’t muster any offense," South St. Paul coach Dave Palmquist said. “[Hibbing] defended and I thought their goalie played really well tonight.”

Coming out of the box following her two-minute minor for interference, Rachael Skorich stole the puck from a Packers defender and broke away for a 1-on-1 with goalie Kaity McKenzie. Skorich beat the South St. Paul junior, sliding it the puck between her legs with 5:57 left in the second period.

Just four minutes later, Mallorie Iozzo added to her team-high point total (17) with a power-play goal to give Hibbing/Chisholm a two-goal lead heading into the final period.

The No. 11-1A Packers (6-5-1) fought back, pushing the puck for a point-blank chance and a wraparound rebound opportunity. However, Edstrom, who came in averaging 2.07 goals against, did the splits to stuff the chances and help her finish with 15 saves in the period.

Finally, the Bluejackets’ Allie Bussey put on the finishing touches with an empty-net goal with 1:42 to play.

Hibbing/Chisholm moves on to face No. 1-1A Blake in the semifinals on Friday at 7:00 p.m.

“We know we have a good team coming at us and we are going to have to be disciplined,” Erickson said.

South St. Paul plays Roseville at 3 p.m. on the other side of the bracket.

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