A night to appreciate defense in a couple different forms was suitably wrapped up with the Cambridge-Isanti-Mora-Pine City girls hockey team holding down St. Francis 4-1 for a Mississippi 8 victory Dec. 17.
It was “Military Appreciation Night” at the Isanti Arena that evening, and both the Bluejacket JV and varsity squads wore camouflage jerseys during warm-ups. U.S. Veterans with connections to the girls were introduced before the varsity game. CIMPC Coach Bob Nelson ended up having the longest appreciation night of all when he left midway through the game with his father to travel to the next-morning graduation of his son, Brandon, from basic training in Missouri.
The game began with a 0-0 first period which saw the Bluejackets kill off the Saints’ first power play opportunity and goalie Meghan Thomas standing tall by stopping a 1-on-0 rush with five minutes left in the period.
The CIMPC girls came out in the second with a long stretch of control hockey in the SF end. At the 3:45 mark, Ally Erickson pushed the puck up the right side and got it to the net where Jordan Ramey banged it home for a 1-0 lead.
A minute later, the Saints tied the score when Kalley Wagner found a loose puck on the doorstep. But the Bluejackets took back a 2-1 lead when Kristin Eustice finished off a nice passing play with a goal. With less than two minutes remaining in the period, Ramey created more distance with her second goal after the Jackets held the puck well again in the Saints’ end.
• The Bluejackets finished the week with a 2-0 loss to host North Metro on Dec. 19. The Stars scored solo goals in the first two periods, and goalie Hannah Paulson stopped 41 CIMPC shots.
The Bluejackets will gain experience against more metro squads this week at the Coon Rapids Holiday Tourney.
Mississippi 8 Girls Hockey: Buffalo 6-0, 7-6; N.Wright County 3-1, 5-4; Rogers 4-2, 6-5-1; Princeton-Big Lake-Becker 2-3, 7-6; Chisago Lakes 2-3, 6-9; St. Francis-NB 1-4, 4-7-2; Cambridge-Isanti-Mora-Pine City 1-5, 2-11.