HIBBING — The Hibbing/Chisholm girls hockey team played hard for each of the 51 minutes of their game against the Duluth Marshall.
The Bluejackets were unable to solve senior goalie Charles Prior and the rest of the Hilltoppers’ defense as Marshall kept the Bluejackets off the scoreboard while netting three goals of its own in a 3-0 win Thursday at the Hibbing Memorial Arena.
The Bluejackets started the game by stifling the Hilltoppers' offense.
Marshall was only able to muster four shots on goal throughout the first period.
“We worked hard,” said Hibbing/Chisholm head coach Pete Hyduke. “It was the effort on our part to take away time and space.”
Against a good team like the Hilltoppers, it does not take much for things to change.
The Bluejackets took a penalty late in the first period giving Marshall a chance to strike. Marshall scored on one of those four shots during the power play.
Maren Friday scored the goal with the assists going to Meredith Boettcher and Ilsa Lindaman.
“It’s unfortunate they got that power-play goal at the end of the first because I thought we played an outstanding period,” Hyduke said.
The Bluejackets played their previous game with International Falls with a new lineup, and they carried that lineup into this game.
So far, Hyduke has liked what that lineup has done.
“This was just the second game with the lineup that we have right now, and I thought everyone has complemented each other,” Hyduke said. “For the most part, we ran our systems the way we wanted, and all three lines played well.”
Hibbing/Chisholm headed to the power play with 8:04 left in the second period with a chance to tie the game.
The Hilltoppers’ defense gave the Bluejackets all they could handle to gain access to the Hilltopper zone.
The Bluejackets' only chance came with 20 seconds left when Julia Gherardi skated down the left side of the ice on her backhand and tried to sneak the puck past Prior.
If there was one thing Hyduke thought could have been better, it was the power play.
“We did not support the puck coming up the ice,” Hyduke said. “The opportunities were there, but we didn’t carry it deep, and we didn’t support the puck once we got in position.”
Duluth Marshall had a golden opportunity to extend the lead to two goals not long after its penalty had expired.
Emilia McGiffert and Katrina Thorson were all alone with Hibbing/Chisholm goalie Addison Hess. McGiffert passed to Thorson, who one-timed the puck on net, but Hess made a crucial save while moving from left to right.
Hyduke said his freshman goalie did everything she needed to do to keep her team in the game.
“I thought Addison came up with some key saves in the game, and that’s what you ask from a goaltender,” Hyduke said. “Come up with all the routine saves, and then come up with a couple game stoppers.”
With 2:11 remaining, the Bluejackets took a penalty giving the Hilltoppers another chance to extend their lead.
Marshall did well controlling the puck in the Bluejacket zone, but the Hilltoppers could not put one past Hess.
The Hilltoppers went into the last period with a one-goal lead.
Marshall couldn't have drawn up a better start to the final period.
Right off the face-off, Friday skated through the Bluejacket defense and was all alone on Hess.
Hess made the initial save, but Friday stayed with the puck. She took the puck and found teammate McGiffert for a goal just 12 seconds into the period.
Things didn’t get much better for the Bluejackets as they took a penalty at the 1:53 mark.
Hibbing/Chisholm defended the penalty, but Duluth Marshall would add its final goal before five minutes had elapsed in the third.
Kendra Royer tried to center the puck for her teammate, but the puck deflected off a Bluejacket defender and found its way into the net.
Hibbing/Chisholm used its timeout after the goal, and Hyduke said he wanted his team to keep working hard.
“I told them let’s win the rest of this period,” Hyduke said.
Even though his team wouldn’t score, Hyduke thought his team did what he asked.
“I thought we did (outplay Marshall),” Hyduke said. “We outshot them for the remainder of the period, and I thought we played well.”
The Bluejackets nearly got their first goal of the game at the 7:20 mark when Maddie Rewertz took a shot from the point that hit the traffic in front of Prior. The puck redirected away from the sliding netminder, but it rang off the post.
Moving forward, Hyduke expects his team to be just fine.
“We’ll stay on task,” Hyduke said. “We’ll talk about the few things we could have done better and what caused some of our breakdowns.
“We’ll also talk about the good things we did and the successes we did have. Other than not scoring a goal, we did a lot of good things tonight.”
Hess finished with 22 saves. Prior had 22 stops as well.
DM 1 0 2 — 3
HC 0 0 0 — 0
First Period — 1. DM, Marin Friday (Meredith Boettcher, Ilsa Lindaman), pp, 13:16.
Second Period — No scoring.
Third Period — 2. DM, Emilia McGiffert (Friday), :12; 3. DM, Kendra Royer, 4:56
Goalie Saves — Duluth Marshall, Charles Prior 7-8-7—22; Hibbing/Chisholm, Addison Hess 3-11-8—22.
Penalties — Duluth Marshall 2-4; Hibbing/Chisholm 3-6.