HOYT LAKES — The Eveleth-Gilbert Area girls’ hockey team got a strong performance out of junior Kylie Baranzelli Thursday, as the Bears cruised past International Falls 6-2 at the Hoyt Lakes Arena.
Baranzelli recorded four goals and two assists to power the E-G offense while freshman goalie Daisy Andrews got the win in the net for the Bears.
While the Golden Bears were dominant when it came to shots on net in the first period, the score reflected a 1-1 contest between the two teams.
Eveleth-Gilbert controlled the puck early on, but Broncos goalie Naomi Carradice took the initial assault well, not letting anything past her in the opening minutes.
International Falls found much more success on their first trip down the offensive end with senior captain Emma Erickson taking charge and firing one past Andrews for the first score of the game at 2:58.
The two teams continued to battle with Eveleth-Gilbert continuing to put pressure on Carradice and the Broncos. It wasn’t long before the junior Baranzelli grabbed her first score of the night, taking the pass from Anneka Lundgren and getting it past Carradice to knot things up 1-1.
That score held as the first period came to a close. With a young goalie in the net, Eveleth-Gilbert head coach Earl Fitzgerald said there were definitely some nerves for Andrews in the beginning, but things began to calm down after the first goal went in.
“I know she was kind of nervous,” Fitzgerald said. “That first goal she took was a really nice shot from them. Daisy didn’t have the right angle on it and the girl picked the right corner. She relaxed a little bit after that. But she’s young and playing behind our senior goalie so we have to get her in the mix here to get her ready.”
The Bears continued to keep the puck down in their end for long stretches of time in the second period but didn’t have anything to show for it through the first nine minutes of play.
Just past the 10-minute mark, Eveleth-Gilbert found their next goal. The Broncos’ Carradice found herself out of position after clearing the puck, soon finding herself under fire by Baranzelli. Carradice stopped Baranzelli’s shot as well as Natalie Bergman’s on the rebound, but it was Lundgren who was next in line to take her shot, pushing it past Carradice to make it 2-1 Eveleth-Gilbert.
The Bears weren’t able to enjoy their first lead of the night for long, however, as International Falls’ Erickson had her number called again. Just a minute and a half after Lundgren’s goal, Erickson evened things up on an unassisted shot that she squeezed past Andrews.
The second goal seemed to help the Bears loosen up as they were able to close out the period with one more score. On the breakaway, Baranzelli took the pass from Sydni Richards and fired it past Carradice to grab her second goal of the night and a 3-2 lead for Eveleth-Gilbert to take into the final break.
The third period was all Eveleth-Gilbert as a more relaxed Bears team scored three times to put the game out of reach.
Skating a player down due to an earlier penalty, Baranzelli and the E-G penalty kill came out swinging early in the period. Not even playing down one could stop the junior as she etched a hat trick on the short handed goal at 4:09 to make it a 4-2 game.
Less than a minute and a half later, Baranzelli grabbed her fourth and final goal of the contest, firing one top shelf over Carradice’s shoulder to make it a 5-2 game.
The Bears continued to keep the puck mainly in their own offensive zone and began to rotate lower line players in. It was the prolific eighth grader, however, that grabbed the final goal of the contest with Natalie Bergman scoring at the 14:13 mark for her seventh goal in three games to make it a 6-2 Golden Bears final score. Baranzelli assisted on the final goal.
With the end of the second and the entire third period playing out in favor of the Bears, coach Fitzgerald said it took some time for his team to settle down, but it was smooth sailing when they did.
“Early on in the game we were just trying to force it. They were squeezing their sticks too tight and needed to loosen up. When we had that penalty kill in the third, they started moving the puck around and things started flowing better. They looked really fun to watch after that because of how well they moved the puck around.”
With Baranzelli recording four goals and a pair of assists, Fitzgerald said it’s clear she’s a standout player when she comes to the game ready and focused.
I think she had a really good effort out there tonight. She came out and was ready to have a great game. We talked before the game about what kind of impact player she can be when she’s working hard. When the puck drops, you need to be ready to play and she did that tonight.”
On the play of Andrews, Fitzgerald said it was a good first outing for her and gives the coaching staff something to work with.
“I think she played a pretty decent game. Like I said, we have to start getting her into the mix and it was a good game for her to get going and see where she can go.”
With other younger players working their way into the game later in the contest, Fitzgerald said it was a strong night for them overall.
“I think those younger players did pretty good. The play was in their end. We’re trying to teach them to be aggressive on the puck, two girls on the puck and one stay high. I think they did a pretty good job of that tonight. Once they got out there a few times, they got a little more comfortable and they started playing better.”
The win moves Eveleth-Gilbert to 3-0 on the season as they’re set to take on North Shore on Friday in Two Harbors.
IF 1 1 0 — 2
EG 1 2 3 — 6
1, IF, Emma Erickson (Havyn Pellend), 2:58; 2, EG, Kylie Baranzelli (Anneka Lundgren), 8:15.
3, EG, Lundgren (Natalie Bergman, Baranzelli), 10:16; 4, IF, Erickson (unassisted), 11:43; 5, EG, Baranzelli (Sydni Richards), 15:27.
6, EG, Baranzelli (unassisted), SH, 4:09; 7, EG, Baranzelli (Bergman), 5:35; 8, EG, Bergman (Baranzelli), 14:13.
Penalties-Minutes: International Falls 2-4; Eveleth-Gilbert 2-4.
International Falls 1
At Virginia, sophomore Dylan Hedley scored his first two varsity goals Thursday night and five other Blue Devils scored in a 7-1 victory over International Falls.
What was the key to the win.
“I’d have to say our guys have brought a lot of energy’’ to the rink in their last two games. “I think they’re playing with a little bit of confidence. It’s fun to see,’’ said head coach Cale Finseth.
Hedley got the scoring started at 1:44 of the first period and then again 57 seconds into the second stanza to give the Devils a 2-0 lead.
Tyler Lamourea lit the lamp about three minutes later before the Broncos got on the board to make it 3-1.
Virginia/MI-B kept the goals coming when Logan Bialke and Ryan Scherf put the puck in the net to close out the second period with a 5-1 lead.
The Devils continued scoring in early in the periods when Peterson struck 17 seconds after the second intermission. Elijah Carlson got the final tally at 10:22 to give VMI-B the 7-1 victory.
The goal scoring all goes back to the forecheck, Finseth said.
““It starts with our forecheck. You can look out and they are working hard. It creates turnovers and that’s what happened. They were turning over pucks and we had the opportunity to score.’’
Ian Kangas was solid in net again even though he faced only 18 shots.
Finseth said his goalie made a pivotal save in the first period when the Devils were up 1-0.
“Ian made a real big big save. That could have been a 1-1 hockey game. That can change everything.’’
V/MI-B (3-2) plays at Hermantown on Tuesday
International Falls 0 1 0 — 1
Virginia/MI-B 1 4 2 — 7
First Period: 1, V, Dylan Hedley (Isaac Flatley, Ben Ervin), 1:44.
Second Period: 2, Hedley (Braden Tiedeman, Tyler Lamourea), :57; 3, V, Lamourea (Tiedeman, Ryan Manninen), 3:35; 4, IF, Parker Sivonen (unassisted), SH, 5:10; 5, V, Logan Bialke (Tiedeman, Elijah Carlson), 6:42; 6, V, Brennan Peterson (Ryan Scherf, Keegan Ruedebusch), 13:11.
Third Period: 7, V, Peterson (Scherf, Ruedebusch), :17; 8, Elijah Carlson (Manninen), SH, 10:22.
Saves: Ian Kangas, VMIB, 4-3-10—17; Mitchell Nemec, IF, 12-11-9—32.
THURSDAY’S OTHER LOCAL SCORES
Grand Rapids 3, Duluth East 0
Northern Lakes 5, Greenway 2
Grand Rapids/Greenway 6, Hibbing/Chisholm 0