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Blake crushes Eden Prairie with offensive onslaught to remain undefeated

By Ricky Campbell, SportsEngine, 11/21/17, 10:00AM CST

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The Bears have won six consecutive games since moving up to Class 2A.


Madison Tix (11) sends the puck over the shoulder of Eden Prairie goalie Alexa Dobchuk for her second goal of the game putting Blake up 7-1.The Bears rolled past the Eagles 8-1 on Tuesday night. Photo by Cheryl Myers, SportsEngine

To the casual Blake girls’ hockey observer, the contributions from then-sophomore Maddie Tix didn’t show up in the box score. This year, Tix is on a tear -- and it’s showing both on the stat sheet and on the ice.

As the Bears, ranked No. 2 in the Class 2A coaches’ poll a season after winning yet another Class 1A state title, went on an 8-1 scoring spree Tuesday night against No. 7-2A Eden Prairie, Tix finished the night with two of Blake’s goals. Through six games, the junior forward has four goals and four assists.

“Last year she was incredibly solid, but it just didn’t show up on the stat sheet,” Blake coach Shawn Reid said. “Now her production is increasing.”

The speedy Tix and the Bears (6-0) faced a good goalie Tuesday in Eden Prairie’s Alexa Dobchuk, who headed into the matchup with a .916 save percentage and two shutouts. But the Bears pounded Dobchuk with 42 shots and pounced on a worn-down Eagles defense in the third period, doubling their lead from 4 to 8 in a matter of minutes.

Blake goalie and Amherst College commit Anna Kruesel only allowed one goal -- the fourth scored on her this season -- on 22 shots.

Just under six minutes into the second period, battling an Eagles power play, Madeline Wethington landed a shorthanded goal for the Bears, helped by Sara McClanahan (6-3-9), who finished the night with a goal and two assists. Tix added a third goal for Blake just over a minute later.

Eden Prairie answered by scoring its first goal 12 minutes, 13 seconds into the second period on the stick of sophomore forward Sydney Langseth. The celebration was short-lived, however, when Blake’s McClanahan, assisted by Sarah Chute and Grace Vojta, tacked another goal.

Tix, who describes herself as “more of defensive center” who is “very comfortable” with her linemates, is fifth in points for Blake, behind the likes of assist-machine Madeline Wethington (2-12-14) and Addie Burton (4-6-10), who each notched a goal against Eden Prairie (2-2-1).

“It was all a battle,” Tix said, reflecting on the second-straight blowout victory for the Bears. “We had to get down, get dirty and get the pucks.”

Maybe that’s what Reid meant when he compared last year’s Tix to this year’s version. Tix emphasized how important it was for Blake to be first to touching the puck and to work the offense both down low and up on the point. The intricacies play into the bigger Blake master plan.

“I’m big on communication,” Tix said. “When it gets confusing out there, it’s important to be vocal.”

Asked about her communication skills on the ice, especially with linemates Burton and sophomore forward Audrey Wethington, Reid smiled. He described Tix as “uplifting,” “spirited” and “energetic.”

“She is probably the most positive player we have,” Reid said.


Sophomore forward Lily Delianedis (7) breaks through traffic in front of the net to find the rebound and send it to the back of the net off a shot by teammate Izzy Daniel. Photo by Cheryl Myers, SportsEngine

First Report

Blake, ranked No. 2 in the Class 2A coaches' poll, tallied four third period goals, and cruised to an 8-1 win over Eden Prairie Tuesday night at the Blake School.

Madison Tix (4-4-8) had two goals, junior Madeline Wethington (2-12-14) notched a goal and two assists and Sara McClanahan (6-3-9), a senior forward, added another goal and two assists as the Bears’ offense rained down 42 shots on Eden Prairie senior goalie Alexa Dobchuk, who stopped 34 of them. The Bears (6-0), however, were too strong on defense and relentless on offense.

Blake goalie Anna Kruesel only allowed one goal -- the fourth scored on her this season -- on 22 shots.

Adelaide Burton scored first for Blake after receiving a pass from Wethington at the 4:26 mark in the first period. The shot was one of 11 first period shots the Bears fired at Dobchuk.

With about two minutes remaining in the first period, the Eagles finally got their offensive feet under them with four additional shots, including a rocket slapshot from senior captain Crystalyn Hengler that bounced off Kruesel’s pad.

Just under six minutes into the second period, battling an Eagles (2-2-1) power play, Wethington landed a shorthanded goal for the Bears, helped by McClanahan. Tix, a junior forward, added a third goal for Blake just over a minute later.

No. 7-2A Eden Prairie answered by scoring its first goal 12 minutes, 13 seconds into the second on the stick of sophomore forward Sydney Langseth. The celebration was short-lived, however, when Blake’s McClanahan, assisted by Sarah Chute and Grace Vojta, tacked on another one.


Alexa Dobchuk makes one of her 34 saves in the game off the blade of her skate before leaving the game late in the third period. Photo by Cheryl Myers, SportsEngine

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