Girls teams fare well in Hibbing


The annual Hibbing/Chisolm 12U and 14U girls’ hockey tournament was lauded for its hockey and hospitality over the weekend as five Fort Frances teams made the trek south to compete.
PeeWee (12U) teams from Superior, Wis., Minneapolis, Moose Lake, Silver Bay, and Hibbing joined local squads Lakewood Tire, Super 8, and Kitowski Trucking to form an eight-team division.
On the Bantam (14U) side, Fort Frances clubs Energy Fitness Wild and the BDO Stars suited up against teams from Minneapolis, Coon Rapids, Hibbing, and Superior in a six-team tourney.
In Bantam action, a shorthanded BDO Stars hockey club headed into the tournament with only eight skaters and goalie Savannah Woods and were granted permission to bring along a pair of skaters (Taylor Dixon and Jessica Robinson) from the local Pinewood Blades Bantam team to supplement their lineup.
The Stars hit the ice first thing Saturday morning as they faced off against host Hibbing.
In a back-and-fourth battle, the hosts tripped up the Stars by a 4-2 count, with Taylor Dixon scoring once in the first (unnassisted) and once in the second set up by Taylor Swire, a first-time player who stepped up with a big performance on the weekend.
Woods kicked out 19 of 23 shots in the loss.
Needing a win to qualify for the championship game, the Stars filled the net against a rugged club from Superior. Courtney Bethune lit the lamp in the first, assisted by Bridget Jorgenson and Dixon, then Dixon followed with an unassisted tally to increase the lead.
The Stars’ scoring barrage continued in the second as Jessica Robinson banged home an unassisted marker for the Stars’ third goal.
Dixon and Bethune combined for the Stars’ fourth goal, with Bethune setting up Dixon, then Dixon fed Jorgenson and she rifled home the fifth Stars’ goal late in the frame.
Despite a relentless effort from the Superior squad, who actually were an ‘A’ level or travel team, the Stars went toe-to-toe in the third, finishing off the Wisconsin girls as Bethune and Dixon combined for a late goal to make the final 6-2.
Woods again was dominant between the pipes, repelling all but two of 25 shots in the victory.
The four-goal spread allowed BDO to advance to the 14U championship game versus Coon Rapids.
A tired, but fun-spirited Stars’ team skated out for the championship game Sunday afternoon and knew right away they were in for a battle as Woods was pelted with pucks from the outset, ending up with 28 saves, as Coon Rapids managed a hard-fought 4-1 victory.
Jessica Robinson netted the lone Stars’ tally.
The Stars received accolades for their play, and recognition of their good sportsmanship from tournament officials and opposing teams, while earning second place.
For the hard-charging Energy Fitness Wild, the goals simply would not come over the weekend despite a tremendous effort by all 11 skaters and goalie Dana Cridland.
The Wild opened play Saturday afternoon against Coon Rapids. With a smooth skating squad of 15 players, Coon Rapids converted on all of their chances, taking a 7-1 victory from a game Wild squad.
Undaunted, the Wild stepped back on the ice Saturday night needing a wide margin of victory to advance against BDO in Sunday afternoon’s final.
Spirits ran high all game long as Energy skated stride for stride with the Minneapolis squad from Rosemount. Leading 2-1, Energy gave up a pair of goals in the third period and dropped a 3-2 decision to the Twin Cities team.
The late-night loss earned the Wild an early Sunday morning slot in the ‘C’ final. Despite pouring 34 shots on goal, the Wild dropped a 6-1 decision to Superior.
PeeWee action
On the PeeWee side, Super 8 had an outstanding tournament with a pair of victories and a very close loss in three games.
Super 8 skated to the consolation championship Sunday morning with a 4-2 win over Silver Bay.
Outshooting the Mariners 29-13, Super 8 got on the board with just 34 seconds left in the first period as Abby Calder lit the lamp unassisted for a 1-0 lead.
Silver Bay tied the score 10 minutes into the second frame, but Maddy Degagne banged in an unassisted tally a minute later to send Super 8 to a 2-1 lead at the second intermission.
The Fort squad then iced the win with a pair of third-period goals (Degagne with her second and Calder with her second from Amber Jourdain) to build a 4-1 lead.
A late Silver Bay tally made the final 4-2 and sent Super 8 back north with the consolation crown.
To reach the final, Super 8 had met another Fort Frances team, Doug Kitowski Trucking, in the semi-finals. The friendly foes, who know each other very well, went back and fourth all game long.
Super 8 opened the scoring as Degagne set up Shilo Beck at 3:06 of the first. Kitowski answered back as Amy Penner snapped home a wrist shot to even the score at 10:31.
Jourdain sent Super 8 to the first-period break with a 2-1 lead after rifling home a shorthanded marker from Katie Sinclair and Ashtyn Dokuchie.
Super 8 then padded their lead with a second period tally from Jourdain, assisted by Sinclair and Carly Steinke, for a 3-1 advantage after two periods.
Early in the third, Degagne lit the lamp from Jourdain (her fourth point of the game) to establish a 4-1ead. Minutes later, Kitowski winger Alexis Perrault whipped home an unassisted goal to make the final score 4-2.
Super 8 had opened play against Rosemount (Minneapolis) on Saturday morning, dropping a close 2-1 decision. Katie Sinclair netted the lone goal—a second-period marker with assists to Calder and Degagne.
That opening loss sent Super 8 to the consolation side.
After dropping their semi-final game to Super 8 on Saturday night, Kitowski Trucking moved into the ‘C,’ final where they tangled with the third Fort Frances squad in the 12U tournament, Lakewood Tire.
Despite outstanding goaltending at both ends, the teams combined for 11 goals in a rip-snorting affair that had the large Fort Frances crowd cheering until the final buzzer.
Lakewood opened the scoring nine minutes into the first period as Taylor Hazel set up Madyson Weir for a 1-0 lead. Kitowski replied two minutes later as Amy Penner zipped a wrist shot by Kate Parsons to even the score at 1-1 after one.
Lakewood regained the lead just three minutes into the second period as Jessica Coran notched an unassisted tally. The Truckers then got in gear, banging home unassisted tallies by Penner and Claire Sandelovich to carry a 3-2 lead after two periods.
The teams then combined for six goals in a wild third period. Angel McCormack popped the first goal of the final frame, with an assist to Sandelovich, to give Kitowski a 4-2 lead.
Lakewood stormed back to cut the lead to 4-3 on a great individual effort by Hazel. Kitowski then answered right back with fleet-footed winger Brittany Hyatt tapping in the fifth Kitowski goal, assisted by Sandelovich.
Undaunted, Lakewood roared back with Coran slamming home her second of the game unassisted to cut the Kitowski lead to 5-4.
Just 24 seconds later, Cassandra Moffitt took a feed from Sarah Milling and snuck one past Parsons for a 6-4 Kitowski lead.
The Truckers closed out the scoring on a late power-play goal by Alexis Perrault, assisted by Hyatt, to make the final 7-4 and securing the ‘C’ championship.
The Truckers had opened play against a terrific club from Superior on Saturday morning. Back on their heels early, Kitowski was out shot 10-1 in the first frame as Trucker goalie Calie Clendenning stood on her head, allowing just one goal in the first 15 minutes of play.
Superior picked up a pair in the second and then a pair in the third, and despite outshooting Superior 11-6 in the final period, the Kitowski snipers could not dent the twine, dropping a 5-0 decision which moved them to the consolation side.
Lakewood Tire, meanwhile, had an amazing tournament and despite losing three games, provided their fans with many thrills. Opening against host Hibbing early Saturday morning, the Tire crew saw lots of rubber directed their way as netminder Kate Parsons was stellar in turning aside 20 of 25 shots.
Hibbing counted three in the first before Jessica Coran got Lakewood on the board early in the second.
Hibbing fired two more goals in the third period to finish off a 5-1 victory and propel Lakewood to the consolation semi-final—a game that was surely the most exciting of the entire tournament.
Fans could hardly contain their excitement as Lakewood and Silver Bay went through not one, not two, but three overtime periods and a shootout to determine a winner.
Lakewood had built a comfortable 3-0 lead on a pair of unassisted goals by Coran and a single by Weir. But Silver Bay chipped away with a goal with just 18 seconds remaining in the second and then a pair of early third-period markers to tie the game and send it to overtime.
The initial 5-on-5 overtime featured a plethora of chances on both sides. With nothing settled, the clubs went through a second five-minute overtime, this time 4-on-4, followed by another 10-minute overtime with many quality chances at both ends.
With games backing up, it was decided to go to a shootout.
Kate Parsons was nothing less than spectacular as she turned away the first three shooters, which combined with 65 minutes of earlier game action produced a 30-plus save performance for the Grade 6 student.
In the end, Silver Bay did sneak one by her while the Lakewood shooters were stymied on five shots in a row to eke out the 4-3 decision.
The loss moved Lakewood to the ‘C’ final against Kitowski Trucking.
The Fort Frances Girls’ Hockey Association now is gearing up to host its own tournaments, which will take place over three weekends in February.
The Bantam/Midget tournament will be held Feb. 6-8, the Novice/Atom event on Feb. 13-15, and the Peewee tourney from Feb. 27-March 1.