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Girls hockey: Visiting Mirage blank Lumberjacks

Izzy Fairchild helped the Proctor/Hermantown Mirage jump out to an early lead in the first period and go on to a 4-0 win Tuesday night over Cloquet-Esko-Carlton at Northwoods Credit Union Arena in Cloquet.

Fairchild finished with a four-point night, including two goals and two assists to take over the Mirage team scoring lead.

Hannah Graves started the scoring for the Mirage. Fairchild made a centering pass to Grace Nichols, who slid the puck through the crease to Graves on a power play following a checking penalty from Gwen Lilly.

Proctor/Hermantown made it 2-0 when Fairchild beat netminder Izabella Strang top shelf on an odd-numbered rush.

Fairchild then set up Hannah Graves with her second goal of the contest with only 30 seconds remaining in the period as the Mirage settled in with that three-goal advantage.

"We started off good in that first period," Mirage coach Emma Stauber said. "We picked up the win tonight, but we had some great chances, but their young goalie made some remarkable stops."

CEC's Izabella Strang, an eighth-grader, stopped 22 of the 26 shots she faced, some with spectacular flair.

Proctor/Hermantown scored the only second period goal as Fairchild was able to beat Strang glove side following a scramble in front of the net.

The Lumberjacks tightened up defensively and held the Mirage scoreless the rest of the way. "They did a good job of not letting us get as many second chances opportunities," Stauber said.

CEC head coach Kennedy Houge did not comment before press deadline on the game when asked by the Pine Knot.

With the loss, the Lumberjacks fell to 5-7 on the season overall. They were set to host Pine City on Thursday, then will be off until after the winter break.

The Mirage improved to 7-5-1 on the season with the victory. Neelah McLeod was the winning goaltender for Proctor/Hermantown, as she stopped all 14 shots she faced on the night.

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