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Bayside Chatter: Dec. 21

Seniors Zach Duresky and Chad Smuk share a moment of encouragement before the North Shore Storm’s first playoff game. They defeated Ely on Monday to advance to the next round. They played Marshall on Thursday. Photo by Michelle Ketola.

Steve Gow for the Lake County News-Chronicle

The Storm were able to stay with the Duluth Denfeld Hunters for a little over half of the game at the Duluth Heritage Center before falling 5-1.The score was 1-0 after one and 2-0 at 8:17 of the second period. Then a disastrous line change led to a 2 on 0 break and a 3-0 lead. After that it was game, set and match.

The Hunters came out and put the first eight shots on goal when they got a very weak five minute power play a minute and a half into the game. Tre Opack tipped in a shot in front of the net that came thru traffic for a 1-0 lead. The shots ended at 12-8 in favor of the Hunters after one as the Storm missed an empty and hit a pipe on a breakaway.

Halfway thru period two, Jake Decaro made it 2-0.Then came the line change that led to a Wyatt Wutz goal. The Hunters scored twice in the first four minutes of the final period to remove any doubt. The Storm got on the board at 14:56 of the third when Jonah Koehler scored with an assist from Luke Small. Zach Duresky stopped 32 of the Hunter shots he faced, with little chance on the five that got past him.

The Storm opened the playoffs with a 11-2 victory at Lake County Arena over the Ely Timberwolves in a section 7A play-in game. They advanced to the quarterfinals where they were to meet the Duluth Marshall Hilltoppers yesterday.

The Storm came out and had one of its worst performances of the season in the first period as it ended at a one- all tie. The team came back out and scored five times in each of the next two periods. Mills Johnson had a hat trick in the final period and Ryan Rasmussen added two goals and three assists. The other goal scorers were Quaid Cavallin, Jonah Koehler, Tyler Schramm, Bradley Rowlee, Tanner Aho and Corey Johnson. Zach Duresky had 16 saves as the Storm outshot the Wolves 53-18.

Anna Carman, the only senior on the girls’ team, finished her career with the Mariners with 146 points, good for fifth place on the Mariner career charts. Her 82 goals tied her for third place and her 54 assists landed her in sixth. She aims to continue her playing career at St. Catherine. Her sister Sara set a Mariner single season mark with 770 saves this season.

The North Shore 12U B girls’ hockey team won the District 11 tournament at Two Harbors last weekend and advanced to the Northern Region to be held at Roseau. They beat Duluth 7-1 and Moose Lake 4-2 to win it.

The girls’ state hockey tournament began this week with neither top team in attendance as Both Hopkins in AA and Thief River Falls in A were eliminated in section play. Benilde/St. Margaret in AA and East Grand Forks in A were the No. 1 seeds. Proctor-Hermantown defeated Hibbing-Chisholm 5-3 to win the section 7A title and were seeded No. 4, opposite St. Paul United. Blake is back to defend its A title, but three-time defending champion Minnetonka didn’t make it. Silver Bay played 25 percent of the A field this season in Proctor/Hermantown and Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato.