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Rebels moving on after a 1-0 squeaker

The Moose Lake Area girls hockey team opened their season with four straight losses, the last one Nov. 28 at the hands of the Rock Ridge Wolverines. On Tuesday night, the Rebels avenged the loss as they opened the playoffs with a 1-0 win over Rock Ridge as they rode the hot goaltending of junior Mallory Hartl.

The first period ended with no scoring, but it was the No. 4 Rebels who carried the play to the tune of a 15-6 shots advantage over the No. 5 Wolverines.

“I thought we dominated the first period,” said Rebel coach Reilly Fawcett. “That helped us settle in and of course we now have Mallory back in the net, so our girls aren’t afraid to take chances.”

Second period saw things settle down a bit, but the Rebels scored the only goal of the period, and the game, when Hallie Klavu scored an unassisted goal, making it 1-0.

“She’s done that all year,” said Fawcett of Klavu. “Hallie intercepted the puck and then made a nice move at the blue line and stick handled around two or three players to get off her shot and she made it count.”

Hartl, and her team’s defense, held up the remainder of the game as Hartl made a number of incredible saves, including a 3-1 rush with just a minute remaining to slam the door.

“Rock Ridge was tough and they just kept coming at us and we expected that,” Fawcett said. “We were able to roll three lines including a line of all eighth graders. That group has continued to get confidence and get better all season. Our team defense is something we take pride in. We try to hunker down in our ‘d’ zone and that can make us tough to score against, especially with Mallory back in the nets.”

While Hartl was standing on her head for the Rebels, her counterpart from Rock Ridge, Nola Kwiatkowski, was nearly as good. Hartl finished with 20 saves on 20 shots and Kwiatkowski made 30 saves on 31 shots.

The win moves the Rebels into a 2 p.m. semi-final game against No. 1 Duluth Marshall on Saturday, a team Moose Lake Area split with during the season.

“We lost in a very close game the first time we played them and then just a week ago we beat them 4-0,” said Fawcett. “Our girls are confident that they can win and we’ll be ready to play.”

 
 
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