Hill-Murray girls hockey continues to roll

North-Tartan junior forward Gabriella Bjellos (17) takes a shot on goal against Hudson. North-Tartan won 3-1 at Polar Arena Dec. 8. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
North-Tartan junior forward Gabriella Bjellos (17) takes a shot on goal against Hudson. North-Tartan won 3-1 at Polar Arena Dec. 8. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

North/Tartan beats Hudson, 3-1

The Hill-Murray High School girls hockey team has won the past two Class AA state championships and it's not hard to imagine the Pioneers making it three in a row come late February. Hill-Murray was unbeaten through its first eight games and had given up only five goals in that stretch.

Among the most impressive of the Pioneers' early victories thus far was their 2-0 blanking of Edina on Dec. 9 at Aldrich Arena. Hill-Murray has been the top-ranked team in the state in Class AA all season and Edina entered the game ranked third.

Hill-Murray scored the only goals of the game in the first period as Lindsey Featherstone put the Pioneers in front just 2:50 into the game. Seven minutes later, Laura Anderson, who assisted on Featherstone's goal, scored off of assists from Featherstone and Jac Kaasa.

From there, it was a battle of defense and goaltending. Hill-Murray's Ava Bailey stopped all 20 of the shots she faced while her Edina counterpart, Anna Goldstein, also made 20 saves.

The shutout was the third in a row for the Pioneers, who haven't given up a goal since the third period against Mahtomedi on Dec. 1. Since that goal, Hill-Murray has gone 168 minutes, seven seconds without surrendering a score. That streak also includes shutouts of Henry Sibley and Simley.

The Edina game was the last for Hill-Murray until Dec. 18 when it hosts Centennial. The next day, the Pioneers head to southeast Minnesota for a game against Dodge County, an eight-school cooperative team that plays its games in Kasson, Minnesota.

Hill-Murray closes out its pre-Christmas schedule with a home game against Stillwater on Dec 22. Over the holiday break, Hill-Murray visits Doug Woog (formerly Wakota) Arena in South St. Paul for the Kaposia Classic Dec. 31 to Jan. 2.

North/Tartan

North/Tartan appears to have settled in to its new cooperative nicely so far. North/Tartan (7-3), after losing two of its first three games, lost just one of its next seven.

Since losing to fourth-ranked Wayzata on Nov. 25, North/Tartan had rattled off four straight wins over the St. Paul Blades, Simley, Woodbury and Hudson. North/Tartan played at the St. Croix Valley Fusion on Dec. 12, past the deadline for this edition of the Review.

In beating Hudson 3-1 on Dec. 8, North/Tartan got goals from Claire Meeder, Maddie Ciolkosz and Lily Langevin. Marit Larson stopped 30 of the 31 shots she faced to pick up the victory in goal.

Coming up for North/Tartan are two more games prior to Christmas. North/Tartan travels to Simley on Dec. 18 and to Cretin-Derham Hall on Dec. 22. Over the holiday school break, North/Tartan plays in a tournament hosted by Spring Lake Park/Coon Rapids at Fogerty Arena on Dec 28-30.

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

 

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