Jacket girls skate past Rogers

Senior Katie McCann began celebrating after blasting home a shot from the blue line which tied Rogers at 1-1 midway through the first period in the Jan. 27 M-8 battle. Photos by Greg Hunt

Evening their conference record at 3-3-1, the Cambridge-Isanti-Mora-Pine City girls worked for an entertaining 4-2 victory over visiting Rogers Jan. 27. The Jackets swept the season series with the Royals in their final home game of the regular season.

The Royals took a 1-0 lead early in the game when Emily Antony buried a screened shot into the CIMPC net. But the Bluejackets finished with a flurry in the first period, sparked by senior defender Katie McCann letting loose a blast from the blue line that beat the Royals’ goalie high on the glove side.

Three minutes later following a Rogers’ icing call, the Jackets kept the puck in the offensive end. Taylor Bowker’s shot was stopped, but Kaity Ripp was there to knock home the rebound for a 2-1 Bluejacket lead. Two minutes after that, senior defender Jessie Morrison did a great job keeping the puck in the Royals’ end. She sent a shot toward the net that Alex Nelson redirected home to make it 3-1, and Rogers switched their goaltenders. Shortly afterward, the Jackets dodged a bullet when a Royals forward missed a wide-open look following a scramble in front of goalie A.J. Smith.

Junior Kaity Ripp (14) was perfectly positioned to knock home a rebound to give the Jackets a 2-1 lead on the Royals.

The Bluejackets kept up the pressure to start the second period when Alyssa Erickson found Bowker to set up a breakaway, and Bowker made her shot count to up the edge to 4-1. Rogers cut the deficit in half early in the third period, but Smith stayed strong to finish with 26 saves for the victory.

“We put together our best game of the year, beating a conference opponent and the 10th-ranked team in Class A. Coming off our tie with Orono– the 4th ranked team in Class A– the girls went into this game with more confidence than they have had all year,” said CIMPC Coach Jeff McCann. “A.J. had another solid game in the nets, making several nice saves in the third to give us the big conference win.”

Senior Taylor Bowker had a strong night in the offensive zone against Rogers, finishing with one assist and scoring the Jackets’ final goal on a breakaway to start the second period.

C-E-C 4, Jackets 0

On Saturday, Jan. 28, host Cloquet-Esko-Carlton shut out the Bluejacket girls 4-0, owning a 39-16 shots-on-goal edge. The Lumberjacks, section partners of CIMPC, are now 11-11-1 after getting all four goals in the second period.

“Cloquet has been in the top-3 of our section all year, and we knew it would be a big game for us. We were 0-0 after the first. After that second period, we talked about how we wanted to finish that game strong to help our section seed, and the girls dug deep to find enough energy to skate to another 0-0 period. That was impressive how they had the energy to finish strong coming off a game the night before.”

Mound-Westonka 3, Jackets 2

Host Mound-Westonka broke a 2-2 with a goal at the 10:54 mark of the third period, and the White Hawks hung on to defeat the Bluejacket girls in a Jan. 31 non-conference game.

Erickson’s goal midway through the second period had CIMPC tying the game at 1-1. Holly Guerin then re-tied the game with a goal off a Ripp assist just 13 seconds before the Hawks’ got the game-winner. Smith was busy again in the nets, making 41 saves.

M-8 Girls Hockey

N. Wright Co. 5-0-1, 15-6-2; Buffalo 5-1-1, 11-8-3; Cambridge-Isanti-Mora-Pine City 3-3-1, 8-13-3; Rogers 1-6, 12-9-2; Princeton 0-4-1, 9-13-1.