Mustangs girls hockey still striving for post-season peak

Since a 4-0 start to the season back in November, the Mounds View High School girls hockey team is 9-6-3 and has been searching for consistency, especially on the offensive end of the ice. The Mustangs are young on the front line and at times have trouble finishing.

While weathering some scoring slumps, Mounds View is still working to get things ironed out as the post-season looms.

"Our focus is getting better each week and each day at practice," said Mounds View head coach Aaron Moberg. "It's all about February and who the hottest team is in February."

Mounds View capped off that four-game winning streak at the beginning of the season with an 11-0 pasting of Woodbury. That was more goals than the Mustangs would score in their next five contests.

Since Dec. 1, Mounds View has scored two or fewer goals in a game 10 times in 14 games. Only one of those 10 games was a victory.

"It's just a matter of, we have to finish," Moberg said. "We're not a high-scoring team and when we have our chances, we have to finish."

Mounds View has scored four or more goals in its last four victories, the first of which happened way back on Dec. 15. The Mustangs have three wins in their last five games and they scored four goals in each of them.

One thing that has affected Mounds View's offensive output in recent games is the absence of leading scoring Sydney Brodt. The senior forward hasn't played with the Mustangs since Dec. 31 while training and playing on Team USA's U18 women's hockey team.

Brodt leads Mounds View with 13 goals and 11 assists for 24 points in 13 games. Junior Rachel Anderson is next with 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points in 18 games played.

Mounds View went 1-2 last week and struggled to produce offensively in losses to Roseville and East Ridge. Mounds View outshot Roseville 26-21 but fell 2-1 in overtime and matched East Ridge with 24 shots each but lost 4-2.

The Mustangs closed out the week with a 4-0 win over Woodbury on Saturday. Three of the goals came off the sticks of seniors as forward Kayla Collins and defensemen Julia Unterseher and Kristen Cash lit the lamp for Mounds View. Sophomore Lauren Jahnke was responsible for the fourth goal.

Woodbury is the only team that Mounds View has beaten twice in Suburban East Conference play. The Mustangs own two wins over Roseville but one of them was a non-conference victory in the Kaposia Classic holiday tournament.

Mounds View has a shot at another conference sweep this week when White Bear Lake pays a visit to the Super Rink in Blaine on Saturday evening. The Mustangs beat the Bears 2-0 back in early December.

Also on the schedule this week is Stillwater, which comes to Blaine on Tuesday. The Ponies won the first meeting 4-0 on Dec. 1.

Of the nine teams in the Suburban East, seven are .500 or better in league play. That kind of strength is something that Moberg likes.

"The conference this year, any team on any given night can win," Moberg said. "You want to be in a conference that's competitive and makes you a better team."

Cretin-Derham Hall leads the SEC with 19 points (9-1-1) while Forest Lake is second with 15 points (7-1-1) and has two games in hand. Third through seventh place is separated by only three points while Park-Cottage Grove and Woodbury are pretty much non-factors with only one conference victory between them.

In addition to Stillwater and White Bear Lake, third-place Mounds View still has return games with Forest Lake, Park-Cottage Grove and Cretin-Derham Hall left on the schedule.

Brodt scores in U18 tournament

Sydney Brodt is a member of Team USA playing in the U18 Women's World Championship in St. Catherines, Canada. Team USA played two games through Jan. 10 and Brodt had two points.

The U.S. opened the tournament with a 6-0 win over the Czech Republic on Jan. 8 and followed that up with another 6-0 victory over Russia the next day. Brodt scored a goal and added an assist against Russia.

Team USA closed out pool play with a game against Canada on Monday, past the deadline for this edition of the Bulletin. The tournament then switches to playoff mode with the quarterfinals on Tuesday, semifinals on Thursday and the medal games on Friday.

Barring an upset, Team USA and Canada will play for the gold medal on the final day of the tournament. Canada was also 2-0 in its first two games with a 5-2 victory over Russia and an 11-0 drubbing of the Czechs.

Canada and the Americans will receive a bye in the quarterfinal round and then play in the semifinals for a spot in the gold medal game.

Irondale

The 5-14 Knights snapped a six-game losing streak with a victory on Jan. 9. They have a chance on Tuesday to put together their first winning streak of the season.

Irondale plays two games this week, beginning with a Northwest Suburban Conference match-up against Armstrong/Cooper on Tuesday. The Wings have just one win in conference play this season.

After Armstrong/Cooper, Irondale heads out of conference to play at Hastings on Thursday. The Raiders, members of the Metro East Conference, are 10-5-2 overall and skated to a 1-1 tie with Dodge County and lost 2-0 to Hill-Murray last week.

The Knights enter this week fresh off a 6-1 victory over North Metro on Saturday. Both teams got off to a slow start as they combined for only 11 shots on goal in the first period.

The offense got kicked into high gear in the second period as the shots on goal increased to 29. North Metro led with 17 but it was Irondale that took the lead.

Danielle Franke opened the scoring just 11 seconds into the second and Greta Nundahl added the Knights' second goal at 10:39. North Metro got on the board with 1:08 left in the period but Irondale regained the momentum when Nundahl tallied her second of the game 34 seconds later.

Irondale then put the game away with three goals in the third. Franke got her second of the contest 5:21 to make it 4-1 and Megan Lyke and Abby Bollensen added goals later in the period to salt away the victory.

In addition to her two goals, Nundahl also contributed two assists for a four-point night. Lyke also notched two helpers and finished with three points, as did Maddie Hentges, who assisted on three of Irondale’s goals. Marie Meysembourg also had a multi-point night with a pair of assists.

In goal, Kalley Elwell stopped 33 shots to pick up the victory.

Earlier in the week, Irondale paid a visit to Centennial and had trouble protecting a lead in a 6-3 loss. Irondale led the Cougars 2-0 and 3-2 but couldn't keep up with Centennial, which scored the last four goals of the game.

Scoring for Irondale were Lyke, Alyssa Wagner and Hentges. Nundahl chipped in with two assists and Hentges added a helper, as did Lindsey McConnell.

Elwell made 25 saves in the loss.

After this week, Irondale has four games in the final two weeks of the regular season before turning its attention to the Section 4AA playoffs, which begin in early February.

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.


Suburban East Conference girls hockey standings (Through Jan. 11)
  Conf.  Overall  Points
Cretin-Derham Hall  9-1-1 14-4-1 19
Forest Lake  7-1-1 11-5-2 15
Mounds View 6-4-1 9-6-3   13
East Ridge 5-4-1 11-6-1 11
White Bear Lake  5-4-1 11-6-1  11
Stillwater 5-4-1  6-10-1 11
Roseville 5-5 8-10 10
Park-Cottage Grove 1-9 6-12-1 2
Woodbury 0-11  1-16 0

 

Northwest Suburban Conference girls hockey standings (Through Jan. 11)
  Conf.  Overall  Points
Elk River/Zimmerman  9-1-2 14-2-2 20
Blaine  9-2 16-2 18
Centennial 8-4 13-6-1  16
Maple Grove 6-0-2 13-3-2 14
SPL / Coon Rapids  7-4  14-4-1 14
Anoka 6-5-2  10-6-2 14
Andover 5-6  9-9 10
Irondale 4-8 5-14 8
Champlin Park 3-7 7-11 6
Totino-Grace 2-9 5-13 4
Armstrong/Cooper  1-8 6-11 2
North Metro 1-10 2-13-3 2

 

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