Four For Four *

January 9

It was a day of postponement make-ups; of a day long basketball Winter Classic; of girls and boys hockey and basketball teams all having home games, all of which could have been seen absent a previously scheduled meeting and an evening with members of the Minnesota Opera Company.

*It was actually “five for five” (but “four for four” was more alliterative) because the boys swiming team won its first conference title since 2005 . . .

Spoiler alert:  Alexandria Cardinals – 19, Morris Benson Area Storm – 0

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[Yes, girls hockey sections have begun.  And this first round quarter final game against Morris/Benson had already had two weather related postponements.]

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[And yes, the score reported at the beginning is correct.  The result was not unexpected, it was a mismatch on paper, yet it was still astounding . . . ]

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[M/B has 5 7th-graders on their varsity roster.  They just were not capable of keeping up with the bigger, faster, more experienced Cardinals . . . ]

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[And once it has started, there is really no way to shut it down.  By the nature of hockey, with shift changes every 90 seconds or so, all players suited up play the entire game . . . there are no “subs” to put in . . . ]

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[I’ll give the Storm credit.  They knew they were totally overmatched and just tried to make the best of it . . . ]

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[They were often smiling while just enjoying playing hockey . . . ]

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[We thought their sophomore goalie actually played very well – she made a lot of nice stops . . . ]

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[Zeroing in on specific players, this is freshman Kaci Trosvig (25).  Already a very accomplished player, she’s starting to remind me very much of her older sister, Kristin, who graduated last year, with her ability to circle in the offensive zone and maintain puck possession . . . ]

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[An unknown Cardinal heading in on net . . . ]

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[And it appears she scored . . . ]

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[Here’s Kaci on the front porch . . . ]

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[Another goal . . . ]

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[With 19 goals, there was lots of hugging in this game . . . ]

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[And again . . . ]

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[Let’s go fist bump the bench . . . ]

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[Oy!  After period one . . . ]

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[Start of period 2 . . . ]

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[I took this 5-minute video early in the 2nd period.  Owing to my good timing, it was the only 5-minute stretch in the entire game in which we didn’t score.  But it gives you an idea of the athletic mismatch . . . ]

[Another budding freshman star, Hanley Block (28) . . . ]

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[I believe that’s No. 9 trying to check her.  No. 9 is a 7th-grader and she always seemed to be smiling . . . ]

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[Here junior Meg Shercliffe (5) displays a little sleight of hand . . . ]

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[Appears to be junior Micah Summer (8) launching a shot . . . ]

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[And following in for a rebound . . . ]

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[Junior Mayson Toft (14), an offensive defenseman . . . ]

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[Kaci and Hanley, the freshmen dynamos . . . ]

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[And out on the point is sophomore defenseman, Ali Castle (22) . . . ]

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[Number obscured with Kaci . . . ]

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[Kaci circling behind the goal . . . ]

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[Leading to another goal . . . ]

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[Kaci and . . . ]

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[Hanley always seem to be in front of the goal . . . ]

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[After period 2.  Oy, again!]

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[The entire 3rd period was on running time.  11 different players scored, all 19 goals had at least one assist, 11 goals had two assists.  We play Willmar in the semifinal.]

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Alexandria Cardinals – 2, East Grand Forks Green Wave – 0

boys hockey '18-19

[We lost to the Green Wave, 7 – 1, earlier in the season.  Our one bad game.  Both teams are ranked in the top ten . . . ]

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[So, we obviously wanted to make amends . . . ]

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[But we would have to do it without our two leading scorers, Ben Doherty and Jack Westlund.  Fortunately, Ben Jenson (9) gave us an early first period lead . . . ]

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[Fist bumps . . . ]

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[Really hard fought after period one . . .]

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[Cards attack once . . . ]

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[Then twice . . . ]

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[Jacob Partington (34) and Derek Pesta (5) . . . ]

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[Andrew Revering (2) on the point . . . ]

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[With his defense mate, Shane Birkeland (25) . . . ]

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[Birkeland in pursuit . . . ]

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[Partington up close . . . ]

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[Caleb Strong (3), without his usual linemates Doherty and Jack Westlund . . . ]

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[Benson and Pesta attack . . . ]

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[Matthew Carlsen (26) joins the fray . . . ]

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[Strong with a point blank shot . . . ]

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[Nope . . . ]

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[Number unknown on the door step . . . ]

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[Oh, it’s Joe Westlund (11) . . . ]

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[Logan Croonquist (15) with Josiah Gronholz (4).  It’s nice to have a Gronholz on the team again . . . ]

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[After 2 periods.  The shots are deceiving – theirs were from a long way out, and we missed the net on a few odd man rushes . . . ]

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[3rd period, trying to hang on to that one goal lead.  Here’s Zach Wosepka (20) and Alex Jost (29) . . . ]

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[Zach . . . ]

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[Cole Walters (23) in alone . . . ]

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[Nope . . . ]

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[Smothered by the Green Wave . . . ]

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[And he’s down . . . ]

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[I believe there was a tripping penalty . . . ]

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[Revering lining up a shot . . . ]

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[Jost looking for a tip . . . ]

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[Pesta camping out . . . ]

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[Here comes the puck!!]

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[It’s still there!]

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[Game over!  Strong got an empty-netter at the end . . . ]

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[Time for congrats all around . . . ]

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[And especially for goalie, Bailey Rosch (31) . . . ]

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[Our goalies pitched a double shutout on the day . . . ]

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[Our girls and boys basketball teams both beat Becker that night.  I, unfortunately, could not attend either as I was hobnobbing with the Minnesota Opera Company, who would be performing at the high school the next day.]

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High sticking, tripping, slashing, spearing, charging, hooking, fighting, unsportsmanlike conduct, interference, roughing… everything else is just figure skating.  ~  Author Unknown

Up Next:  Opera?

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