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Girls hockey: 'Offensively-minded' Storm set lofty goals

The North Shore Storm returned to the ice with a 6-5 loss to Moose Lake Area on Tuesday, Nov. 13, in Moose Lake.

After a number of early penalties, the Storm found themselves in a 5-0 hole midway through the second period as a result of early penalties, but senior captains Gracie Komarek and Jessie Ketola led a furious comeback to tie the game early in the third period, before a late Rebel goal ended the rally.

Coach Neva Maxwell wasn't happy with the early penalties, but she also said the team is shifting some players around early in the season, so some bumps in the road are expected.

Leading the Storm attack this season will be Ketola, who had four goals in her first game, and Komarek had a goal and an assist in the effort.

The senior captains "showed a lot of leadership," according to Maxwell, in the comeback against Moose Lake Area, but will need to continue the production as the season continues.

Also moving to the forward position is Megan Maxey after spending most of last year as a defensive player. Maxwell said the team will have to find the right line pairings for Maxey, but the junior has a "rocket of a shot" and could generate impressive offensive numbers this year.

Junior Sydney Haugan and freshman Livia Hoff will both spend a lot of time on the defensive end of the ice this season. Haugan is moving from a forward position last year and Hoff will see significantly more playing time in 2018-19 than she did as an eighth-grader last season.

The key this season, Maxwell said, is the team's depth. The top two lines are as good as any line in the section and the key will be if the Storm can stay healthy and avoid significant injuries.

"Line for line, our top two lines can take on any team in our section," Maxwell said. "One injuries can throw things off for us. Last year, we went through the season without significant injuries. I'm hoping we'll continue staying healthy, but I think we've got some very offensively-minded girls.

"Last night showed; they came back and they score five goals in half a game," Maxwell said. "When they're on, they're on. If we can stay out of the penalty box and keep generating some offensive momentum, I think we have a really good shot at the sections this year — but it's really early to say that."

North Shore 0-4-1—5

Moose Lake Area 2-3-1—6

First period — 1. MLA, Abby Painovich (Raechel Painovich), 10:27 (pp); 2. MLA, Gabby Gamst, 2:29 (sh).

Second period — 3. MLA, A. Painovich, 1:52 (pp); 4. MLA, Lexi Bonneville (R. Painovich, A. Painovich), 6:12 (pp); 5. MLA, Bonneville (Ellie Anderson, Choloe Gamst), 8:05 (pp); 6. NS, Gracie Komarek, 8:35; 7. NS, Jessie Ketola, 9:48; 8. NS, Ketola (Rheo Johnson), 16:13; 9. NS, Ketola, 16:43.

Third period — 10. NS, Ketola (Komarek), 1:23 (pp); 11. MLA, A. Painovich, 13:31.

Saves — Lilka Mojkowksi, NS, 13; Maureen Dwyer, NS, 2; Jo Wekseth, MLA, 27.

Jamey Malcomb

Jamey Malcomb has been a reporter for the Pine Journal since October 2018. He previously worked as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle from 2015-2018. Malcomb is a native of North Carolina and holds a bachelor's degree in English and history from the George Washington University and a master's degree in education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Malcomb moved to Minnesota in July 2012 and worked as a sports clerk and news assistant at the Duluth News Tribune. 

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