Bluejacket girls get first wins of the season

The Cambridge-Isanti/Mora/Pine City girls team has jumped out to a 2-1-0 start this season, rebounding from a season-opening loss at Holy Family to earn a pair of one-sided victories.

The Bluejackets claimed their first win this season by a 5-1 score over Duluth on Tuesday, Nov. 12, then pounded Rochester Century by a 10-0 margin on Saturday, Nov. 16.

The 5-0 loss at Holy Family in a game played on Saturday, Nov. 9, was a misleading score. In that contest, Cambridge-Isanti trailed just 1-0 after two periods before surrendering three goals in the final five minutes that allowed the Fire to pull away. Jordan Millam finished with 57 saves for the Bluejackets.

Seniors Chloe Nelson and Alana Fix provided a one-two punch for Cambridge-Isanti in the win over Duluth. Nelson had three goals and one assist while Fix added the other two goals and had two assists as the Bluejackets scored three times in the second period and twice more in the third. Millam added 22 saves to help her team cruise to the win.

Cambridge-Isanti then buried Rochester Century with a six-goal first-period onslaught in Saturday’s runaway win. Ashton Parnell and Jasmyn Sibell each had two goals in that opening-period barrage, with the other goals coming from Jenna Hari and Cecelia Lero.

Fix scored twice in the second period and Leah Hari also found the back of the net in that period, while Nelson closed the scoring with a third-period goal. Millam needed to make just eight saves to record her first shutout of the season.

Saints endure tough week on the road

The St. Francis/North Branch girls co-op was beaten in two road games last week.

On Tuesday, Nov. 12, the Saints fell 5-3 at Henry Sibley. The Warriors plowed ahead for two unanswered goals in each of the first two periods. Early in the third, Samantha Rudnick pulled one back for the Saints, but this was answered shortly thereafter. In the final three minutes, two members of the North Branch half of the co-op netted goals, Liberty Boese and Jenny Kurkowski.

Boese was also credited with an assist on each of the Saints’ other goals. Kurkowski and fellow North Brancher Chloe Moline each got one assist, as did Abygail Spitzer.

The Saints then lost to the Minneapolis co-op 5-2 on Thursday, Nov. 14.

Spytzer accounted for both Saint goals in that game, assisted in the first period by Kurkowski and in the third by Olivia Anderson.

The Saints are 0-3-0 on the young season. Kurkowski is the early team leader in points (5) and is tied for the lead in goals (2) with Spytzer and Abbey Chock, and in assists (3) with Rudnick.

The Saints still have a road-heavy stretch ahead of them: They will appear only once at their East Bethel Ice Arena home in the month of November, a Saturday, Nov. 23, date with Section 7AA power Elk River/Zimmerman — though in that section, nearly everyone is a power. Puck drop for that game is at 3 p.m.

Speaking of drop, the Saints have dropped out of Class AA this season and will now be competing in Section 5A come playoff time. Their new section foes are Holy Angels/Richfield, Breck, Chisago Lakes, the Minneapolis co-op, Orono, Robbinsdale, Spectrum and Totino-Grace.

Mallards split two games last week

The Rum River Mallards junior team lost at Hudson by a 3-2 margin on Friday, Nov. 15, before rebounding to beat the Minnesota Mullets 5-4 in overtime at home the following evening, Nov. 16.

On Friday the Mallards played a tight contest against the Havoc that was decided by three power-play goals scored by the home team. After a scoreless first period, Rum River’s Vladimir Fadeev scored at 11:49 of the second to make the score 1-1.

Scott Moyer scored at 5:31 of the third period to give Rum River the lead, but the Havoc got power-play goals at 11:16 and 14:52 to claim the comeback victory. Austin Bartell finished with 38 saves in net for the Mallards.

Saturday’s contest was a back-and-forth affair. Rum River took an early 2-0 lead thanks to goals by Dany Shestakov and Fadeev in the first 10 minutes, but the Mullets scored at 12:21 to cut the Mallards’ lead to 2-1.

Then Minnesota scored just 1:12 in the second period to tie the contest before adding another goal at 13:19 to take a 3-2 lead. But Akhmed Malsagov scored with just 26 seconds left in that period to retie the game entering the third.

Malsagov gave his team the lead with his goal at 9:05 of the final period, and Rum River appeared poised to claim the victory. But the Mullets got a sixth-attacker goal by Blake Gutterman with just 23.1 seconds left to force 3-on-3 overtime.

In that extra period the Mallards collected the extra point when Fadeev skated on net and scored his 12th goal of the season at 1:22.

Jason Cooke started in net for Rum River and made 25 saves in the first two periods before he was replaced by Bartell to start the third. Bartell made six saves in the third period and two in overtime to collect the victory.

The Mallards played last week without coach Jimmy Jensen, who took a leave of absence because of family issues. Jensen is expected to return behind the Rum River bench this week.

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