Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Al Rose
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Record-setting Rebels bumped out by Bluejackets


With defending Section 7A champs top-seeded Proctor-Hermantown getting upset by fifth-seeded Duluth Marshall, the 20-5-1 and second-seeded Moose Lake Area Rebels were hoping to have a realistic shot against the 7-17-3 Hilltoppers for a first-ever trip to the Girls’ Class A State Hockey Tournament.

MLA would first have to get past a tough 15-10-1 third-seeded Hibbing-Chisholm team. The Rebels had a pair of slim 3-2 wins, including one victory in overtime, against the Bluejackets during the regular season.

Unfortunately, the Rebels came up against a hot goalie and the Bluejackets scored two power play goals after MLA had previously allowed only nine power play goals all year. Hibbing-Chisholm went on to win the semifinal game 4-1 at Miners Memorial Building in Virginia on Saturday, February 11, to bump the Rebels out of contention. MLA had 24 shots on goal while H-C had 23 shots on goal.

It was the Rebels scoring first as Belanger scored at 1:56 to go to 11 points. Mohelsky’s eighth assist took her to 14 points. MLA was whistled for too many on the ice only 36 seconds later. With one mere tick left to kill on that power play, it was H-C’s leading scorer and UMD recruit, Mallorie Iozzo, scoring her 29th goal as she was able to beat Maddy Gamst on the glove side for 1-1 at 4:39. Lilly Rewertz got the assist. It was fairly much a stalemate for the remainder of the period as the Bluejackets goalie, Abby Edstrom, with a 2.45 goals against average and a .901 saves percentage and the area’s top goalie, Gamst, each had to stop only a handful of shots.

MLA had the great majority of the pressure and by far more quality shots during the second stanza. The Rebels went up 19-13 for total shots on goal, but had no scores on the board to show for their efforts. The closest MLA came was at about halfway through the period when Abby Edstrom was able to use a pad to pin a shot by Sage Gerard against a post. H-C got a two-girl break. Maria Gheradi chose not to pass and got her first goal of the year, going stick-side top-shelf for 2-1.

It was almost all Bluejackets in the final frame, with H-C out-shooting the Rebels 16-4 and out-scoring MLA 2-0. Both goals were assisted goals and they both came on shots fired after face-offs. The first goal was at 3:06 from the point. The second goal was just six seconds after a tripping call and it was directly off a face-off at 5:46 to put the Rebels in a 4-1 hole. Mallorie Iozzo got assists on both those goals for a three-point night.

The program record-setting Rebels will certainly miss the 144 total points contributed by senior forwards Jessica Bird and Gerard and defenseman Jamie Bird as well as the diligent defensive work of Kiersten Evenson along with her seven assists.

MLA version 2017-18 will be powerful with the likes of third-leading scorer junior forward Lauren Pederson and fourth-leading scorer freshman forward Jamie Benzie along with many other very skilled players already skating on lines and several girls working hard for more ice time. Gamst, the best goalie in the area, will be back in the cage as a senior and freshman goalie. Jo Ruby Wekseth had only three losses and two ties on the JV team.


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