Bayside Chatter: Jan. 18
By: Steve Gow for the Lake County News-Chronicle, Lake County News Chronicle
The Mariner girls’ hockey team played one game last week and they fell 4-0 at home to the state’s No. 9 ranked team, the Proctor/Hermantown Mirage. Their game at Moose Lake was postponed due to school closings and has not yet been rescheduled.
The Mariners trailed the Mirage 1-0 after two periods of play via a first period goal from Reilly Fawcett. Abby Halverson scored three minutes into the final period to give the Mariners a steeper hill to climb. Then the Mirage wrapped things up as Fawcett and Justina Lindberg scored a minute and a half apart with 6:20 left to play. The Mariners got a 5-on-3 advantage shortly thereafter but couldn’t cash it in as they went 0-for-6 with an extra attacker. Cassie Swanson took the loss with 25 saves and Kylie Hommerding got the win with 17 stops.
The North Shore Storm split a pair of games last week against section 7A opponents, with both games at Silver Bay. They defeated the Eveleth-Gilbert Golden Bears 3-2 and lost 9-0 to the International Falls Broncos.
The Eveleth contest was a great game between two very evenly matched teams. The Storm got the game winning goal at 7:19 of the third when Tyler Schramm followed up the play and put home a loose puck set up by Brock LeBlanc and Ryan Rasmussen. An empty netter by Austyn Wasko, his second of the game, clinched things with one minute left to play.
Mills Johnson, on a nice give-and-go with Luke Small on a 2-on-1, put the Storm up 1-0 after the first period of play. After that Mitchell Huffman tied it up for Eveleth when the Storm was a little laid back in front of its own net. Wasko crashed the net and put home a Small rebound for a 2-1 Storm lead. Fifteen seconds later, the Golden Bears replied with a Luke Rozinka goal for a two all contest after two. Zach Duresky stopped 26 saves for the Storm to pick up the victory and Chad Hietela had 33 stops for the Golden Bears.
The best thing that can be said about the Bronco game is that it is over. The Storm was never in this game as they allowed themselves to be intimidated by one of the big boys of section 7A. They were outshot 20-4 in the first period and 46-18 for the game as the Storm had, at most, three quality shots on goal. Erik Lassila and Lucas DeBenedet each scored twice for the Broncos.
Neither Lake County hockey team needs to reserve home ice for the playoffs as they will both be on the road. The girls have to sweep rematches with Eveleth-Gilbert, International Falls and Moose Lake to have any chance of not being seeded 8th out of 8 teams. The top two teams, Hibbing and the Mirage met last night for the number one and two seed and Princeton will be seeded third. The Mariners will open the playoffs Feb. 7 at one of these three places.
The boys need to defeat Eveleth and Greenway in their rematches for a chance at a number six seed. The top three seeds will be Duluth Marshall, Duluth Denfeld and Hibbing in an as yet undetermined order. The Storm will open the playoffs against one of these three teams, but the Storm has yet to prove that it can compete with the big boys of section 7A.
The girls are at International Falls tonight and at Hibbing on Tuesday. The Storm host Greenway tonight at Two Harbors and are at Eveleth on Tuesday. Both basketball teams host Carlton this evening and are at South Ridge on Monday. The girls are at Duluth Marshall on Thursday. No makeup date has yet been made for the home games with Cook County.