Hockey team picks up win

by Tom Coombe
While North Shore continues to have their number, the Ely Timberwolves still managed a win on the ice this week.
Sophomore Drew Marolt had the hat trick in the high school hockey team’s 6-4 win over Burnett County (Wisc.) in a Feb. 4 clash at Siren, Wisc.
The Wolves weren’t able to carry their momentum into Monday, when North Shore beat the Wolves at the Ely Arena.
Ely, now 4-17, closes out the regular season today, in Babbitt, against Mora.
Playoff action comes next for the Wolves, and a fourth game with North Shore could be on the horizon.
Perhaps depending on a Friday night battle at Moose Lake, the Wolves will either be ninth or 10th in the Section 7A rankings and travel on Feb. 19 to meet either the seventh or eighth seed.
International Falls or North Shore are the likely destinations for the Wolves.
Ely led into the third period in a Dec. 21 meeting with International Falls, while all three games with North Shore have gone down to the wire..
The Storm (5-15) beat Ely 3-1 in early-December and eked out a 2-1 holiday tournament victory later in the month.
This week’s contest was just as competitive, with Marolt scoring both of Ely’s goals.
His first-period tally put the Wolves up 1-0 but North Shore quickly rebounded, as Doug Choulet capitalized on an Ely turnover in the Wolves’ end and tied the game.
Nate Bilben scored from the left circle to make it 2-1 after the opening frame as North Shore dominated play and outshot the Wolves 15-4.
The second period was more even, and Marolt took a feed from Logan Loe from behind the net and tied things up midway through the second period.
Ely had momentum, but the Storm seized it back as Bilben veered past a Wolves defender and shot one past goaltender Chase Sandberg for what proved to be the game-winner.
The third period brought a handful of opportunities for the Wolves, including a couple of breakouts that were foiled by the visitors.
Ely pulled Sandberg with about a minute left but the Storm held their ground and got an empty-netter by Zach Libal as time expired.
North Shore outshot the Wolves 36-17, with Sandberg winding up with 32 saves.
Both Loe and Deegan Richards had assists for the Wolves in a clean game that resulted in no power-play chances for either team.
• Marolt had back-to-back goals in the third period, roughly two minutes apart, as the Wolves broke a three-all deadlock and won against Burnett County.
Those tallies along with a first-period goal gave Marolt his second hat trick of the season.
Loe added two goals with an assist and junior Kole Macho sealed the victory, and a season-sweep, with an empty-net goal with 30 seconds to play.
Kadien Zupancich, Wes Sandy, Marolt and Alex Merriman all had assists for the Wolves, and Sandberg stopped 25 shots to record the win between the pipes.