The Lady Dragons hockey team, consisting of Mora, Pine City and Rush City players, took the ice this week, starting with a game against Visitation, a Catholic school in Mendota Heights,  on Tuesday, Nov. 16 and ending the week playing the Western Wisconsin Stars on Friday, Nov. 19. 

Pine city vs. visitation

The girls took the ice at home with some nervousness but had a strong showing against Visitation, who plays the likes of Bloomington Jefferson during their regular season. 

With Visitation being the Dragon’s first home game, head coach Bill Aagaard said the girls had some nervousness to work out. “It was our first game of the season and Visitation’s third game,” added Aagaard. “This would also be our eighth grader, Iriss Sanftner’s, first experience at the high School level. She played well and made some big saves, but we had a lot of shots miss the net.”  

Sophomore Abby Aagaard, of Pine City, scored three goals, and freshman Samantha Root, of Pine City, made three assists. Freshman Jennae Szucs, of Mora, scored the fourth goal just as time was expiring. The final score was 6-4 with a Dragon loss.

pine city vs. the wisconsin stars

Taking the ice at home again against the Western Wisconsin Stars on Friday, the Dragons were outplayed. But according to Coach Aagaard, the score didn’t reflect the game. 

The Western Wisconsin Stars girls’ hockey team (Somerset/New Richmond/Osceola/Amery/St. Croix Falls) scored three goals in the first nine minutes. 

Mackenzie Weeks put the Stars on the board early into the game with an assist from Erin Huerta before Huerta scored about a minute later to make it a 2-0 game in the first period. Brynn Connors extended the Stars’ lead to 3-0 at the nine minute mark of the first period. 

Pine City made it a 3-1 game with a goal by Szucs. 

The Dragon’s Arrissa Rydberg netted the only goal of the second period when the sophomore tipped a shot from Mora senior, Erin Radeke. “This play cut the gap in half, but that’s as close as they could get before Heuerta’s second goal of the game four minutes into the third period,” noted Coach Aagaard. 

Emaliya Schultz made 14 saves in the win as the Stars outshot Pine City 22-16.

“This would be Allison Fix’s first game at Varsity for the Dragons,” said Aagaard. “Jennae Suzcs had a great game and netted a goal on a breakaway.” 

The Dragons spent six minutes in the penalty box for tripping, holding and hooking. The Wisconsin team had no infractions. 

The final score was 5-2 with a Dragon loss. 

Aagaard, in his second year as head coach, said he looks forward to the season and upcoming games and watching these young ladies find their roles on the team. “They are committed to each other and the team. They have adopted the motto ‘abandon self, embrace team.’” said Aagaard. “I would like to say thank you to the Mora, Rush City and Pine City schools for all the work that goes into making this co-op successful. Thanks also to WCMP for broadcasting area high school sports.” 

Looking ahead, the Dragons will be traveling to Minnehaha United on Friday, Nov. 26 and meet Northern Lakes at home on Sat. Dec. 4.

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