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'Jacks start playoff push, win 3-0

 

February 7, 2020

Pine Knot News file

Cloquet-Esko-Carlton, celebrating earlier this season, got an easy first-round win in section play this week.

Entering Tuesday night's Section 7A girls hockey playoffs, the Lumberjacks were more than heavily favored. Cloquet-Esko-Carlton came in as the No. 1 seed with a gaudy record of 22-3, while their competition, the International Falls Broncos, were 0-20-1 on the season.

CEC didn't disappoint the hometown fans as they pumped 72 shots on net to come away with a 3-0 win.

Within the first few minutes of the opening period, it became obvious that the Broncos game plan was to pack things in tight against the vaunted 'Jacks offense and not allow rebounds in front of their goaltender Macey Marcotte.

"They played a pretty tight defensive coverage and that challenged us a bit," said CEC coach Courtney Olin. "We were able to get many shots on net, but we had to make some adjustments with our angles and offensive zone positioning for higher quality chances."

CEC threw everything but the kitchen sink at Marcotte, but the senior goalie held firm before allowing two goals in the opening period. Marina Dostal redirected a Taylor Nelson shot at 4:31 of the first period to make it 1-0. At 11:38, it was Dana Jones taking another Nelson feed to make it 2-0 for CEC after the opening period. The 'Jacks were dominant throughout the game, but the first period was impressive as CEC held a 30-1 shot advantage.

At times the Lumberjacks spent so much time in the Bronco zone that one had to wonder what CEC starting goalie Araya Kiminski was doing to occupy her long periods of inactivity. Kiminski finished with five saves before giving way to Lauren Maslowski, who did not even have to make a save in her time in the nets.

Now CEC will set its sights on their semi-final game Saturday against Hibbing/Chisholm. The Bluejackets needed triple overtime to beat Moose Lake Area 3-2.

"This year we have three days off between playoff games versus none last year," Olin said. "That gives us some time to reflect and make some adjustments as we look to Hibbing/Chisholm on Saturday. We know they will be a hardworking team who are very well coached, with a strong goaltender. We will need to get some quality shots and redirected shots to produce goals."

CEC defeated the Bluejackets in Hibbing Dec. 5 by a 4-2 score and then got by them on Jan. 14 in Cloquet by a 2-1 score. In both games CEC outshot the Bluejackets by a substantial margin, but goaltender Addison Hess was stellar in the nets. Hess was called on to make 26 saves in the Bluejackets triple overtime win over Moose Lake Area Tuesday night.

"It will also be vital that we stay disciplined and execute against Hibbing/Chisholm," Olin said. "We are just going to take it one day at a time and focus on what we can control."

CEC and Hibbing/Chisholm will square off at 4 p.m. Saturday in Proctor in the opening semi-final game, followed by Duluth Marshall versus Proctor-Hermantown at 6:30 p.m. In Tuesday's opening sectional games, Marshall downed Eveleth-Gilbert 6-0 and Proctor-Hermantown beat North Shore 10-1.

 
 

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