Irish fall to Park, bounce back vs. Apple ValleyWhen the Rosemount girls hockey team opened the season with a home win against No. 10 White Bear Lake, the Irish were quickly demonstrating some of the potential coach Tracy Cassano believes her team has this season. There was bound to be some bumps in the road and Rosemount has had to maneuver over some of those in the past two weeks.
By: Brian Hall, Rosemount Town Pages
When the Rosemount girls hockey team opened the season with a home win against No. 10 White Bear Lake, the Irish were quickly demonstrating some of the potential coach Tracy Cassano believes her team has this season.
There was bound to be some bumps in the road and Rosemount has had to maneuver over some of those in the past two weeks.
However, while experiencing one of those low points last week, the Irish coaching staff might have affirmed their belief in the squad.
Rosemount watched a third-period lead slip away against section opponent Park, but the coaching staff remained calm.
“As long as we learn from our mistakes and learn from the what maybe didn’t go our way, then we’ll be fine,” Cassano said. “The coaching staff was relaxed. We’re fine with how things are going. We’re not in desperation. Nobody is worried or anything like that. It just showed us that we have things to work on and improve, and that will hopefully happen.”
The Irish lost 3-2 at Park of Cottage Grove last week. Two days later, they controlled play while beating Apple Valley, 5-2.
The win against Apple Valley further exemplified the confidence for the coaching staff — and maybe this time players too.
After leading by two goals early, Rosemount again found itself in a tight game after the Eagles tied the score 2-2.
“Again, just the way things were going, we felt we had full control and had the momentum,” Cassano said. “The bench remained calm. It was a good testament to the girls; maybe in the other game, maybe they weren’t feeling the same. The other team scored to tie the game and it was nice to see us continue to play and we scored two goals.”
It was the reverse of what happened at Park.
Rachael Kelly opened the scoring at Park with a power-play goal in the first period. After Park tied the game early in the second, Allison Micheletti scored on an assist from Alison Warweg.
But Park scored twice in the third to finish the scoring and take the victory.
“The first two periods was some of the best I’ve seen for Rosemount girls hockey,” Cassano said of her squad’s effort at Park. “They were moving their feet. They were forechecking great. We were breaking the puck out and making good decisions. The power play looked fantastic. They made some fantastic reads. it was amazing. Then in the third period, the first couple shifts we came out and set the tone as we had done all game.
“From there, the only way to explain it is self-destruction, like a time bomb exploded. I have no idea why.”
Caitlin Dantzscher made 33 saves in the game, but Park’s goalie came up with 42 saves.
There would be no implosion for the Irish against Apple Valley.
Lauren Riley and Kelly scored in the first Irish goals. The Eagles added a goal late in the first and early in the second to tie the game, but Rosemount maintained composure.
Kayla Goehring earned the game-winner on the power play after Kelly won a faceoff. Micheletti added another second-period tally. Kelly finished the scoring in the third.
Kelly had two assists for a four-point night. Jenna Bangerter added an assist and Dantzscher made eight saves as the Irish outshot Apple Valley 42-10.
“I thought it was a solid game all the way around,” Cassano said. “There were so many positives in that Park game, so I would say we weren’t rebounding off of a bad game, just a bad period. It was a good way to rebound. It was nice to see us set the tone from the drop of the puck and finish strong all three periods.”
Playing a complete game will be important for Rosemount going forward. The Irish have three road games next week after a week’s break.
“I think when they are playing to their potential and playing the way they can, then they are playing well,” Cassano said. “This is a mature team with a lot of potential. I think things will work out. We just have to keep working. Some nights we are consistent and play all three periods. That is definitely an area we are working on. It’s something we’ve mentioned in the past, so we’re hoping we can kind of nail it down early in the year.”