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Mirage, CEC in section Championship Wednesday


Mirage, CEC in section Championship Wednesday

The second-seeded Proctor-Hermantown will meet the top-seeded Lumberjacks (24-3), winners of six in a row, in Wednesday’s championship game at Proctor.

Coach Emma Stauber is optimistic about the playoffs.  “With this team, it's important to know that all players have had a huge impact on our season. We have been consistently running 3 lines all season, and at times 4, to gain depth and experience, which hopefully will make a huge difference in the playoffs.”

“Definitely we will lean on those who have been here before and those who have experience from past years playing in the playoffs, especially our seniors. Our quarterfinal game wasn't going to be an easy win, we had to work for it and now with semis approaching, knowing it's playoffs, there's a different mentality from every team,” Stauber added.

“Spending time on us has given the girls a lot of confidence in themselves and their abilities as players. Should be a fun, exciting game.”

The Mirage (19-8) blanked Duluth Marshall 4-0 in the semifinal as Michaela Phinney scored two of her team’s four second-period goals. Abby Pajari posted an 18-save shutout and Aurora Opsahl had three assists.

Junior goalie Charlesa Prior had 44 saves to lead the Hilltoppers (14-9-2).

“Looking at Marshall, even though we beat them earlier this year, we had to be prepared for anything and everything. We have stuck to focusing on ourselves as a team for the whole season by smoothing out our strengths and working on our weaknesses,” Stauber said.

Cloquet-Esko-Carlton’s Taylor Nelson notched her seventh hat trick of the season to help CEC to a 5-1 victory over Hibbing-Chisholm in a Section 7A semifinal Saturday at St. Luke’s Events Center in Proctor.

Nelson scored twice in the first period and another in the third to give her a Northland-leading 43 this season.

Proctor-Hermantown       0-4-0 = 4

Duluth Marshall                0-0-0 = 0

First period — No scoring.

Second period — 1. PH, Michaela Phinney (Alyssa Watkins, Aurora Opsahl), 2:43; 2. PH, Phinney (Ella Anick, Opsahl), 5:42; 3. PH, Megan Madill (Sydney Skorich, Braelyn Sathers), 8:17; 4. PH, Watkins (Phinney, Opsahl), 16:15.

Third period — No scoring.

Saves — Abby Pajari, PH, 18; Charlesa Prior, DM, 44.


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