The Bluejackets are hitting on all cylinders at just the right time as their regular season is in its final weeks. Last week, C-I racked up four key victories, all of which were against section opponents.
Their busy but productive week began on Tuesday, March 2 with a 6-2 win over North Branch. The Jackets never trailed in the game, jumping out to a 2-1 first period lead and extending that to 4-1 lead after two periods. The Jackets iced the game with two more goals in the third. Jacob Ziebarth led the Jacket scoring with a hat trick.
Next up was a 4-3 overtime win over Chisago Lakes. C-I had to come from behind against the Wildcats after trailing 2-1 after one and 3-2 after two. Jake Brown tied the score in the third period and Easton Parnell scored the overtime game-winner.
Perhaps their biggest win of the week came against Northern Lakes, who came into the game with only one loss on the season and as the top-ranked team in Section 5A. The Jackets jumped out to a 4-1 lead after one period versus the Lightning, but saw that lead evaporate in the third period, with Northern Lakes scoring two goals in the last 1:30 to tie the score.
On the Lightnings’ game-tying goal, which was scored with just three seconds left, an over-enthusiastic celebration resulted in a five-minute major for boarding, which carried over into overtime. The Jackets needed only 33 seconds of that power-play before Jacob Ziebarth scored the overtime game-winner.
C-I’s week concluded with another lopsided win over North Branch, this time by a score of 7-1 as six different Jacket skaters found the back of the net.
It wasn’t exactly a picture-perfect conclusion to their regular season, but the Jackets were successful in claiming the Mississippi 8 Conference championship with an undefeated 7-0 record following their 141.0 - 136.625 win over Becker last week.
The Jackets wound up missing a total of six varsity routines for a variety of reasons against the Bulldogs, but their team depth proved to be the difference in the meet. Laci Leverty lead the team in the meet, winning three of the four events (vault, bars, and floor), plus the all-around with a score of 35.85.
The Bluejackets went 2-2 in their final matches of the regular season, finishing the season with a 19-11 record. C-I’s two wins were versus Sartell-St. Stephen by a score of 37-31 and Holdingford by a score of 38-30. Their two losses were to Big Lake, 43-24, and Annandale/Maple Lake, 56-9.
Leo Edblad finished his freshman regular season with only one loss, going 4-0 for the week. Treytin Byers also went 4-0, with one of the wins being via forfeit. Wyatt Wothe, Andrew Stickley, and Scott Simpson each went 3-1.
If it wasn’t for an undefeated and #2 Class AAA ranked Becker Bulldogs, the Bluejackets would be heading into their final week of the regular season with aspirations of an undefeated conference championship. The Bulldogs topped the Jackets last week 87-37, handing C-I their second conference third overall loss.
The Jackets did rebound later in the week, topping Princeton 67-45. In that game, Mikayla Aumer was keeping pace with the Tigers for most of the game, ending up with 28 points. Aiyana Knight had a solid game, scoring 17 points. And Maraya Wiltrout also finished in double digits with 10.
The Jackets’ rough season continued last week, as C-I lost twice more. On Tuesday, March 2, C-I fell to Becker 65-42. That was followed with a 56-37 loss to Duluth East.
Connor Braaten was the top Jacket scorer against the Bulldogs, scoring 11 points. Aleck Dee led the Jackets against the Greyhounds, also by scoring 11 points.