M g hockey

Pine City/Mora/Rush City Hockey team.


Head Dragons Girls Hockey Coach Bill Aagaard said this year may be another building year for the team that is in its second year of existence, and Aagaard is in his second year coaching this group. The team combined Pine City, Mora and Rush City players to form the Dragon co-op two years ago. Prior to this co-op, Pine City was combined with Mora and Cambridge/Isanti. 

The team is fairly young with only three seniors, one junior, 11 sophomores, seven freshman, and five eighth graders. Coach Aagaard notes that “buy-in” is needed from every single player with “all players working hard every shift giving 100%.” 

He said the one big spot to fill is goaltending as last year, they graduated all-conference goaltender, Jordan Milam. 

“We have varsity experience to grow off of coming off last year,” said Aagard. The team will play opponents such as Chisago Lakes and Mound Westonka, who went to state last year, along with Class A champion, Proctor/Hermantown. 

“We have a good all-around skilled team that when we are all working hard for each other and do the little things every shift, we are successful,” noted Aagaard. “Each player brings a strength that is valuable to our team. We are pesky and never give up.” He added that success can be measured on many different levels, as they grow as a team, and is not only reflected on the scoreboard. 

Last year’s record was 4-12, but Aagard feels the team has a lot of potential as all skaters are returning from last year and all the seniors are multi-sports athletes that have a passion for the game. “They are leaders on and off the ice,” said Aagaard. 

Of the players, Coach Aagaard said, “Senior, Erin Radeke (Mora), is a welcome addition to our team. She didn’t play last year with the girls but was a manager of the Mora boys high school team. Senior Allison Fix is in her third year of goalie. She brings a lot of energy to the team. 

Senior Emma Kirby (Rush City) has a calmness to her, along with being Rush City’s homecoming queen.” 

This year’s captains are Emma Kirby (Rush City senior and returning captain) and Arissa Rydberg (Pine City sophomore and an alternate captain last year). Alternate Captains are Erin Radeke (Mora senior) and Allison Fix (Mora senior).

Paul Kirby is an assistant coach that brings a lengthy history of coaching multiple sports to the team. Kirby began his hockey coaching career at Bemidji State, coaching the first female club team there. Brandon Dornfield is the team’s goalie coach and has coaching experience with youth, high school and junior programs. Brietta Clementson is a volunteer coach who played girls hockey in Pine City when Pine City was a co-op with Chisago Lakes. Each coach is in their second season with the team. 

Last year, the team was forced to miss two games due to quarantine but Aagaard said the team will continue to follow the COVID-19 rules set in place by the government and schools. 

It will be good to get back to normal with fans in the stands,” he said. “Thank you to the community and schools for your support.”

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