Ahhhhh, hockey!

Can there possibly be a better way to spend a gray, autumn morning, then afternoon, than by watching girls’ high school hockey amongst and between the hockey moms (search ode to hockey moms in this site)?  I think not!

If you are a regular to this site, you know that girls’ high school hockey is our first love.  We started with the 2003 team and have been hooked ever since.  And as northerners, we enjoy sitting at an event where we don’t get . . . too hot!  The Cardinal season actually doesn’t start for a couple weeks yet.  This was a pre-season scrimmage invite that took place on Saturday.  It revived the requirement to blog.

The following is a video of the 1st game warm-ups:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ-fHOnXMxU

As usual, I wandered into the wrong rink.  I arrived in plenty of time to set up the camera on the monopod – in the Main Rink – and sat and waited for the team to come out.  A team did come out . . . and then another . . . but neither were the Cardinals?  We’re the host team – I was sure this would our rink.  So I gathered up my “stuff” (I need a photographer’s assistant), hustled through a phalanx of uniformed hockey players, and eventually made my way into the West rink where the Cards were already into their warm-ups.  Uffda!  I set up my “stuff” again and began the video.  As I stood there, camera steadily ensconced on its perch, I looked around and discovered Dan Kopischke (father of Alia, from last year’s team), who had the good sense to pick up a schedule on his way in.  The schedule reported the teams were St. Cloud, Owatonna, St. Cloud, and River Lakes.  It was a round robin event – everybody played everybody else.  But the Cards played all their games in the West rink (limited stands, much colder than the Main rink.)  Games started on the hour from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, each game lasting an hour on running time.  The Cards, and so I supppose all the teams, have only been practicing for a week – this was like a conditioning marathon!

[We were playing Holy Angels first.  This is a private school from the Cities that is not quite up to the level of the some of the other privates – but they’re trying to catch up.  They had a very young team.  The Cards pretty much overwhelmed them 5 – 1.]

[I was glad Dan was there – and later Marnee’ – because it seemed the players just grabbed jerseys at random.  There weren’t any programs – these were just scrimmages – so we had a heck of a time identifying players.  If the foreground player is No. 4, it’s Shelby Iverson, a senior center.]

[I think I “knew” defensemen 45 and 47 during the game – have since forgot.  Our surplus is on defense.  Taylor Ellingson, a two-year regular on D has been moved to forward.  One of our D on this day was an 8th-grader, who had game.]

[I believe this is our freshman goalie.  Bailey Serum, from last year, is a sophomore.  And we have a 3rd young goalie.  Our goalies are young – but they will be a strength!]

[We could recognize the “veterans.”  In this shot, on the front line from l-r are seniors Madi Houska, Shelby Iverson, and Becca Illies.  The defenseman on the right is Nicole Bartels, who I believe is a sophomore.  37 escapes me.  We were trying to think of the other seniors – Shanee’ Herd on defense, and I believe there is one other.  Danielle Carlson, I think.  So we will be young but I think pretty good.  Oh, Sara Schmidt, a blog favorite in the past, has decided to be a manager in her senior year.]

[I would guess by the bunched players this was just after a goal.  Madi got the 1st goal in this game (and in game 3 v. Owatonna).  The other problem as a fan for this event, the Cards were always going for the goal at the far end.  It was difficult to tell who scored if it came as a result of a scrum in front of the net.]

[After a meeting w/ lunch, I returned for the 3:00 game.  I sat upstairs in the warming house this time because it was 32 degrees at ice level, and my blood hasn’t been winterized yet.  The hockey moms had the same idea.  🙂  Of course a problem “shooting” from here is the netting (until the telephotos later).]

[Our goalies discuss meal options for later prior to the Owatonna game.  As I recall, we won 4 – 2.  We beat River Lakes, 3 – 2, in the game I missed.]

[The auto focus was of the opinion I wanted a photo of the net?  😦 ]

[Shelby says hello to an Owatonnan.]

[Darn, I wish I could remember the freshman goalie’s name – she was pretty smooth.]

[Shelby, 4, is taking the draw.  No. 2 to her left is Melissa Drown, who as I recall is a junior?  Now you know where the expression, You can’t tell the players without a program, comes from.]

[Obviously, a goal for the Cards with a focus on the net!]

[Cards win!]

[Taco Saturday?]

[Last game against the St. Cloud Icebreakers, which is of course a consortium from Tech, Apollo, and Cathedral.  I switched to telephoto here to take the net out of play.  The Icebreakers have an excellent goalie – we pelted her throughout the game.  But they got one flukey goal, the only score in the game.  I found out later from my source that both teams agreed to take their front line players out during the game midway – they all had to be pooped.  The Cards 3rd and 4th lines kept up constant pressure and looked good!  🙂 ]

[There were two 14’s in the game . . . and two 17’s.  So I’m not sure who this is?]

[31, anyone?  The moms recognize players by their gloves.]

[Well, 6 is Shanee’.]

[Into the 4th hour of hockey – still hustling.]

[Icebreakers “blanket” a Card.]

[Oh, it’s 14 again?]

[I hope we’ve been teaching the Abby Williams face-off techniques?  Another source has noted that Abby’s been winning a significant majority of her face-offs for Bemidji State this year.]

[Shelby’s working on her peripheral vision.]

[The stupid photographer didn’t wait for a jersey number to be exposed – not that those have been much help!  😉 ]

[Card looking for a breakaway.]

[And the race is on!]

[Cards rest.]

[The final photo.  Our 3rd goalie, 35 in white jersey, got playing time.  Coach Andy Shriver on the right.  We’re looking forward to the start of the season!  🙂 ]

Finally, we want to pass on our best wishes to junior Kalley Krangenbring.  Kalley had hoped to be able to play this year, but she is still in recovery from a concussion she suffered last season.  While we know she would love to be out there, and still has hopes for being able to play her senior year, we just want her to get healthy.

Congrats to Tom Lehman for winning the Schwab Cup again.  I e-mailed Colin Covert at the Strib thanking him for his articles on John Hawkes, Tom’s Alex classmate and noted that John Hammergren, McKesson Corp. CEO, was also of that class.  The class of ’65 was noted for being 12 years older than those guys.  Congrats also to Bethany and Megan Hasz for finishing 3rd and 6th, respectively, at the state cross-country meet.  And congrats to Sarah Bruzek for making the state all-tournament team in soccer.

[You know we’re fans of “long hair” hockey!  Well, we’re also fans of “long hair” music!  😉  Last monday was the high school’s fall orchestra concert.]

[Because it’s fun to watch, and support, the kids in all their venues.]

[We were concerned when it was reported during the school board election forum that participation in extra-curricular activities were dropping.  They are extraordinarily important for a well rounded education.]

[So, we love to attend these events . . .]

[And marvel at the talent and enthusiam.]

[Director Brad Lambrecht noted, and we were well aware, that it was a tad warm in the ole gym.  And with the hard bleacher seats, these are mercifully an hour long in duration.  Two more years to the new high school and auditorium!]

[I believe these are called string instruments!]

[More strings!]

[The full orchestra is impressive.]

[The final piece was by Bach.  Or Baacchhhhh!  Brad said it’s fun to see the sophomores look at a Bach piece for the first time.  He said their mouths just drop open over the number of notes!  Ha!]

[Bonus points will be awarded for identifying what’s going on in the three above photos.]

[Finally, Halloween was a beautiful day here on the shores of beautiful Lake Darling.]

Next up:  There’s some sort of national election.

About tomobert63

The Journey Begins Thanks for joining me! This is the follow-up to the original, “alexandriacardinals.wordpress.com,” which overwhelmed the system’s ability to handle it any more. Thus, this is “Part 2.” As the original was initially described: 10-26-07-4 “It all began in a 5,000 watt radio station in Fresno, California” . . . wait a minute, that was Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show! Let’s see . . . oh yeah, it all began in 2003 when retirees, i.e., old people, in Alexandria, Minnesota, who had no desire to become snow birds, went looking for mid-winter entertainment here in the frozen tundra of West Central Minnesota. We discovered girls’ high school hockey, fell in love immediately, and it remains our favorite spectator sport to this day. Initially, and for several years, reports on these games were e-mailed to those who were actually snowbirds but wanted to keep abreast of things “back home.” It was ultimately decided a blog would be more efficient, and it evolved into a personal diary of many things that attracts tens of readers on occasion. It remains a source of personal mental therapy and has yet to elicit any lawsuits. ~ The Editor, May 9, 2014 p.s. The photo border around the blog is the Cardinal girls’ hockey team after just beating Breck for the state championship in 2008. It’s of the all-tournament team. The visible Breck player on the left is Milica McMillen, then an 8th-grader – she is now an All-American for the Gophers. The Roseau player in the stocking cap I believe is Mary Loken, who went on to play for UND; and the Cardinal player on the right, No. 3, is Abby Williams, the player we blame most for making us girls’ hockey fans who went on to play for Bemidji State. *********************************************************************************** Photos contained herein are available for personal use. All you have to do is double click on any of the photos and they will become full screen size. You can then save them into your personal “My Pictures” file. They make lovely parting or hostess gifts, or holiday gifts for such as Uncle Ernie who wants to see how his grand niece is doing on the hockey team. If any are sold for personal profit, however, to, for example, the Audubon Society, National Geographic, Sven’s Home Workshop Monthly, Curling By The Numbers, or the World Wrestling Federation, I only request that you make a donation to the charitable organization of your choice. You have two hours and fifteen minutes. Pencils ready? Begin! **********************************************************************************
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