Under new head coach Bob Nelson, the Cambridge-Isanti-Mora-Pine City girls hockey squad took to the home ice at the David C. Johnson Arena in Isanti for the 2012-13 season opener against Duluth.
The experienced Northern Stars, the team which defeated the Bluejackets in last year’s section playoffs, left town with a 4-2 victory Nov. 10.
Duluth led early 2-0 before CIMPC’s Ally Neibur, a seventh grader, netted her first varsity goal to cut the deficit in half before the first-period break.
The Northern Stars upped their lead to 3-1 in the second period, but Bluejacket sophomore Steph Cannon scored short-handed to answer. Duluth added an early goal in the third period for the final difference.
“Duluth is an experienced, well-coached team– a good challenge for us in our season-opener,” said Coach Nelson, who replaced Jeff McCann after he retired last season. “We are young, but we can play. I was very pleased with the way our girls stood up to the Northern Stars’ physical style of play.”
Coach Nelson added that his senior goalie, Jessi Benson, was rock-solid in the nets with 42 saves against the Stars.
• The Bluejackets ran into another strong team in their second home game Nov. 13 when Sartell-Sauk Rapids rang up an 11-3 road victory. The Storm’n Sabres opened up a 6-3 game with five straight goals to close out the third period.
Madison Oelkers netted CIMPC’s lone goal of the first period where her team trailed 3-1. She scored midway through the second period to cut it to 3-2, but Sartell-Sauk Rapids ripped off three straight goals before the period ended. Bluejacket Kylie Guimont made it 6-3 with her goal 3:30 into the third.
Benson and Paige Anfinson shared goalie duties for CIMPC. Shots on net were about even with the Sabres holding a 32-30 edge.
The Bluejackets next travel to Simley for a Nov. 16 game (7:30 p.m.). They then travel to Orono Nov. 20 (7 p.m.).