By Al Rose
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Rebels respond to blank Bluejackets


December 21, 2017

Dan Lingle

Rebel Gabby Gamst scores her first varsity point, hitting the open, unattended goal.

The Moose Lake Area Rebels, now waiting to be ranked, bounced back from Tuesday's loss and responded big with a 3-0 blanking of the 11th-ranked rival Hibbing-Chisholm Bluejackets at Riverside Arena on Thursday, December 14. Moose Lake Area was out-shot only 29-27. After the Rebels nipped H-C 3-2 in OT and 3-2 during the regular season, the shut-out avenged last year's heartbreaking 4-1 loss in the semifinals as the 2016-17 Rebels set an MLA program record at 20-6-1.

At this point this season, the Rebels have been out-shot 277 (30.8 per game) to 198 (22 per game). Despite improving to a record of 5-3-1, MLA has a razor's edge in goals scored in nine games at 22 (2.44 per game) to 21 (2.33 per game).

The Rebels went 1-3 on the power play to slightly improve their troubles converting at 6-36 (16.7 percent). MLA denied any goals on both of th Bluejackets' power plays. The 20-16-2017 team converted an outstanding 39.5 percent of it power plays. A big plus on the positive for this season is MLA's very good kill crews that have allowed opponents only 4-30 (13.3 percent) on the advantage. This year's team is slightly ahead of last season's 13.7 percent allowed.

Maddy Gamst had 27 saves. The senior stonewaller used her stick to steer away several blasts from outside the circles, point and slot and she stacked the pads to build and maintain a brick wall on some wild action in the crease. Gamst has faced 264 shots on goal with 243 saves to improve her saves percentage to .920 as compared to .921 last year and her goals against average went to 2.33 as compared to 1.65 last year.

After a scoreless first period, the Rebels' current points-leader, senior forward Ruby Mohelsky, scored the only goal of the second stanza at 12:32. Mohelsky went to four goals and seven assists for 11 points. The even strength effort was assisted by junior defenseman Sam Glerum. It was Glerum's second assist and second point of the season.

Senior forward Lauren Pederson, the Rebels' third-leading points-getter, got MLA a very important insurance goal for 2-0 at 9:12 of the third period. Pederson went to six goals and two assists for eight points. Pederson finished in the third spot last year with 28 points. Pederson's power play goal was assisted by this season's second-leading points-getter, Jamie Benzie. The sophomore forward, who was MLA's fourth-leader in points last year, went to five goals and five assists for 10 points. Gabby Gamst, an eight-grade forward, enjoyed the excitement of scoring her first varsity goal. With the Bluejackets pulling their junior goalie, Abby Edstrom, for the second time, the eighth-grader's shot from just outside the blueline slid inside the left side steel by about a foot for an empty-netter at 14:52 to close out the scoring.

Other MLA girl's goals, assists and total points this year are as follows: Abby Painovich - 2-3-5; Michaela Belanger - 0-3-3 (through 12/2 due to injury); Savannah Gamst - 2-0-2; Josie Benzie - 1-1-2; and Lexi Bonneville - 1-0-1.

The Rebels travel to the Isanti Arena to play Cambridge-Isanti/Mora/Pine City on Thursday, December 21, and they are at the prestigious and challenging Schwan's Cup on Thursday, December 28-Saturday, December 30. MLA does not play at home until Tuesday, January 9, as they host the Proctor Rails at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.


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