Northland Sports Online

CEC Girls Move to Semi Finals

Cloquet-Esko-Carlton players celebrated after  forward Dana Jones (4) scored in the first period.

 ]  Shari L. Gross ¥    

Warroad defeated Willmar 7-4 in a State Tournament quarterfinal game at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020.



Eleven years removed from its last state tournament appearance, the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls’ hockey team struggled with jitters heading into its quarterfinal Wednesday.

Senior Jenna Zdebski shattered the tension at Xcel Energy Center with a goal 90 seconds into the game. With freshman goaltender Araya Kiminski making 18 saves against Hutchinson, the Lumberjacks earned a 2-0 victory.

Jones added a goal later in the opening period, providing No. 3 seed Cloquet-Esko-Carlton (26-3) a two-goal advantage.

Hutchinson (21-8) missed its best chance to get on the board late in the second period. Senior Britta Johnson got the puck in close and for a moment, had a half-open net. But the Lumberjacks’ desperate attempt to close the shooting lane distracted Johnson enough to prevent a hard shot.

Kiminski, who slid and got her right leg pad in front of the puck, said, “If it would have been a little harder, I don’t know if I would have got there. But I can’t be mad that she didn’t shoot it harder.”



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