CEC's 17-game win streak snapped in 6-1 loss
January 24, 2020
The Section 7A top seed was at stake on Tuesday night when the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls hockey team traveled to Proctor to take on Proctor/Hermantown. The Lumberjacks entered the game with a 17-game winning streak and were undefeated in sectional play, having beaten the Mirage in the first game of the season. On Tuesday night, the tables were turned as the Proctor/Hermantown team came out with a vengeance and downed the ’Jacks 6-1 in a game that was in running time to start the third period.
Hannah Kauppinen started the scoring onslaught for the Mirage just 2:27 into the game with assists from Megan Madill and Ella Anick. The goal for the Mirage seemed to set the ’Jacks back on their heels just a bit. Less than three minutes later, Kauppinen picked up her second tally of the game with assists from Madill and Anick, giving Proctor/Hermantown a 2-0 advantage on the scoreboard.
The wheels came off the proverbial wagon for the Lumberjacks in the second period as the Mirage scored four more times. The first goal came just 2:19 into the period off the stick of Nya Sieger. Only 59 seconds after Sieger’s goal, Michaela Phinney scored, making it 4-0 and it seemed as if Murphy’s Law (what can go wrong, will go wrong) took effect for the Lumberjacks. Before the second period ended, both Hailey Winkleski and Alyssa Watkins scored, giving the Mirage a 6-0 lead entering the final period.
Kiana Bender scored for CEC off a pass from Taylor Nelson at 6:25, cutting the lead to 6-1, but that was all the ’Jacks could muster offensively against the Mirage and their goaltender Abby Pajari, who made 28 saves.
CEC coach Courtney Olin gave credit to the Proctor/Hermantown team, noting that they were the better team Tuesday.
“We had some defensive breakdowns that I was disappointed in that we need to reflect on and clean up moving forward,” she said, adding that she wasn’t surprised the Mirage were able to score six goals as they have a lot of depth. “I thought the biggest difference is [the Mirage] capitalized on their scoring opportunities and we didn’t, and that changed the entire momentum of the game.”
CEC and Proctor/Hermantown have one loss in section play — against each other. The Lumberjacks record is now 18-3, while the Mirage are 14-8.
The 17-game win streak for the ’Jacks is now gone and the team can focus on their final four games of the season and getting ready for the playoffs in just two weeks. Next up for CEC is a road game at Grand Rapids/Greenway on Thursday followed by games against North Shore, Bemidji and Thief River Falls to wrap up the regular season.