The Cambridge-Isanti-Mora-Pine City girls hockey worked back to .500 on the season with a hard-fought 3-0 shutout at Willmar Saturday, Dec. 3. The win was the team’s second straight and third over the past four games.
“‘Winning streak’– that’s nice to say. We played two very solid back-to-back games with our goalie AJ Smith recording her first varsity shutout. AJ played a solid 51 minutes against the Cardinals, turning away 23 shots,” said CIMPC Coach Jeff McCann. “I was anxious to see if we could play back-to-back games with good energy and quick ‘happy’ feet, and the girls responded in a big way. We played with speed and energy the whole game, putting constant pressure on Willmar whenever they had possession of the puck.”
Shelby Sylvester got the Bluejackets on the board in the first period off a Becky Lillemo pass. In the second period, Alex Nelson and Megan Erickson set up Taylor Bowker’s goal. Then Nelson added icing to the cake with a third-period goal from Bowker and Jordan Ramey against the Cardinals (2-2-1).
Bluejackets 7, Grantsburg 6
Hosting the WSFLG Blizzard of Grantsburg Dec. 6, the CIMPC girls made it three wins in a row despite giving away a 6-2 lead. Holly Guerin notched the game-winner with 2:50 to play after the Blizzard scored four times in the third period to forge a tie.
Steph Cannon and Kaity Ripp scored early in the game for a 2-0 Bluejacket lead. Shelby Sylvester and Alyssa Christenson added goals in the opening period which ended with C-I leading 4-2. Christenson and Alex Nelson then found the net in the second period to make it 6-2. Guerin and Kristin Eustice both had two assists during that scoring stretch.
“We came out with some nice jump in our legs and forechecked strong to force several turnovers which led to four goals in the first, but we forgot to take care of our end of the ice. We needed to remind them in between periods that scoring goals doesn’t mean you don’t have to work hard in our end of the ice,” said Coach McCann. “In the third, the more the Blizzard pressured us, the more we got away from our systems, and they took advantage of it by scoring the four straight goals. The big thing that was different about giving up goals this game was that our girls didn’t shut down. Thirty-four seconds after the Blizzard tied the game, Holly Guerin came up big to put us back in the lead.”