Rallying from 2-0 and 5-3 deficits, the Cambridge-Isanti-Mora-Pine City girls hockey season opened with an exciting 7-6 overtime victory at Duluth Nov. 12. Steph Cannon netted the game-winner 5:32 into OT off assists from Holly Guerin and Kaity Ripp.
“I’m very proud of the way the girls played with such determination and finished so strongly. It was some of their best hockey that I’ve seen them play at this level,” said CIMPC Asst. Coach Dean Armstrong since head coach Jeff McCann was at swim sections with defender daughter Katie. “Goalie A.J. Smith played well, overcoming a shaky start by making key saves, including stopping a Duluth breakaway late in the game. All three forward lines contributed by playing a smart, physical and tenacious game.”
Down 2-0, the Jackets worked back to tie it at 3-3 at the end of the first period on goals from Megan Erickson, Cannon and Ripp. The Northern Stars took a 4-3 lead in the second and were ahead 5-3 in the third, but Erickson netted her second goal, then Alex Nelson found the back of the net. Ripp got her second goal with just 1:23 left in regulation to forge the 6-6 tie.
Guerin finished with 3 assists, and Taylor Bowker, Cannon and Ripp all had 2 assists. Smith closed with 29 saves.
Chisago Lakes 4, Bluejackets 2
The Bluejacket girls had their 2011-12 record evened at 1-1 when the host Wildcats prevailed 4-2 Nov. 15.
CIMPC Coach Jeff McCann: “This was another fast pace girls high school hockey game. Chisago Lakes has some high scoring talent on their team; their top 4 scorers totaled 92 goals last year and are all back this year. I didn’t seem like we got out shot that bad in the first period because we skated right with them going end to end much of the period. AJ Smith made several nice saves to keep it to a one goal game after one. We got things settled down a little in the offensive end in the second and third periods and out shot them 19 – 14 after the first period.
“You can really see the confidence grow with these girls when they are in the offensive end. They are really starting to look for each other around the net for quality scoring chances as was seen with our first goal when Jessie Morrison got a nice pass from Holly Guerin, and she fed it across to Kaity Ripp on the back door for a nice backhand goal. The second goal was also scored on a nice passing play from Kristen Eustice to Katie McCann who scored on a one-timer from the blue line.”
CIMPC 0 – 1 – 1 2
Next up: at Spring Lake Park @ Fogerty Arena Nov. 19 (7:30 p.m.); at Holy Family Catholic Nov. 22 (7 p.m.).