2013-01-17 / Sports

Girls’ hockey scores wins

Team captain Hanna Bryant works her way to the net for one of her two goals against Iron River Sunday. 
Pioneer Tribune photo Team captain Hanna Bryant works her way to the net for one of her two goals against Iron River Sunday. Pioneer Tribune photo MANISTIQUE – After an extended absence in the winner’s circle, the Manistique Wildcats U-19 girl’s hockey team strung together three wins and a tie at home last weekend.

“The girls have been playing good hockey, are skating hard, and while we have come close several times, we just couldn’t close,” Coach Doug Casey said. “It was nice to get over the hump and beat a solid team like Mackinaw City.”

The Cats opened the weekend with a 1-1 tie against their arch rival from just below the bridge. The Walters sisters combined for Manistique’s lone goal in the first quarter. Cassie scored off an assist from Sammy.

Following a scoreless second period, Mackinaw tied the game early in the third. From there, a defensive battle ensued until the end.

Goaltender Hailey MacGregor stopped 14 of the 15 shots fired her way. Manistique had 19 shots on goal in the tie.

It was a shut-out for the Cat’s goaltender in game two. While MacGregor was stopping everything thrown her way, Darby Demers took a pass from Allison Casey and went the length of the ice for a score in the opening period in game two.

Shelby Misniakiewicz put Manistique up by two late in the second.

Frustrated, the girls from down under made three trips to the penalty box in the final 13 minutes of play.

“It was a big win for the girls,” said Casey. “They (Mackinaw) are a good team; you don’t beat them very often.”

Coming off the win Saturday, the girls shut-out Iron River 4-0 in game one Sunday off two goals by captain Hanna Bryant, one by Casey and one by Sammy Walters.

Following a short break, the Cats jumped out to a 1-0 lead off a goal by Demers late in the first period of game two.

Manistique added five more goals in the second; the third goal by Demers earned her a hat trick. Cassie Walters scored once; Misniakiewicz twice in the stretch.

“Shelby did a good job getting her stick on the puck,” said Casey. “For a small girl she is not afraid to get in the play.”

Trailing by six, Iron River knocked in two goals late in the period. Hannah Bryant had two assists, Emma Bryant and Casey one.

“We decided to move Darby from defense to center and it has paid dividends for us on offense,” Casey said. “She is a strong skater who doesn’t stop chasing the puck.”

Casey also noted the improved play by his first year goaltender.

“At the beginning of the year, we were relying on our defense to stop the puck,” he explained. “Hannah (Bryant) is one of the strongest defensive players in the league but she can’t be on the ice the entire game. Hailey has really come a long way in the net for us this year and that has allowed us to move players around.”

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