Sports

Fri
21
Jan

Slumping Ely in scoring drought

by Tom Coombe
The Ely Timberwolves are in need of an offensive jolt.
In their last seven games, all defeats, Ely hasn’t scored more than one goal in any contest and was shutout in three.
Tuesday, Section 7A contender Greenway came to the Ely Arena and ran roughshod over the high school hockey team in a 9-1 rout that included a whopping 48-4 disparity in shots on goal.
The Wolves were also blanked 6-0 at Lake of the Woods on Jan. 14.
Ely, now 2-12, faced Ashland (Wisc.) on the road on Friday and follows up with a home rematch against the Oredockers on Monday night at 6 p.m.
If the Wolves are to return to early-season form, which included a pair of wins and a slew of competitive defeats, they’ll need more firepower.
Junior Kole Macho, the Wolves’ leading scorer, had Ely’s only goal against Greenway.
It was a third-period tally assisted by Jace Huntbatch and Deegan Richards and came only after the Wolves had fallen behind 6-0.

Fri
14
Jan

7A power Proctor blanks Ely

by Tom Coombe
For nearly two periods, the Ely Timberwolves hung with one of the better teams in Section 7A.
But two late goals in the second period proved to be backbreakers, and visiting Proctor went on to win Tuesday night’s high school hockey contest 7-0.
Ely fell to 2-10 for the winter while the Rails are now 9-5-1 and ranked third among 10 teams in 7A.
Senior goaltender Chase Sandberg kept the Wolves close, turning away 50 shots in the game and 25 in the middle period.
That’s when Proctor’s Keenan Reyelts and Brett Bartlam both scored in the final two minutes of the period.
It turned a two-goal game into a 4-0 difference and the Wolves faced too steep of a hill in the period.
The Rails’ Cullen Solum, who had a three-point night, scored twice in the final frame as the visitors sent the game into running time.

Fri
07
Jan

Ely skiers sweep at home

by Tom Coombe
There were six races - and six Ely victories - on Tuesday at Hidden Valley.
No matter the level or gender, the host Timberwolves swept at the Ely Invitational, winning each Nordic skiing race.
In the varsity event, junior Zoe Devine and senior Gabriel Pointer scored convincing wins at a small meet that brought northern rivals Mesabi East and Grand Rapids to town on a cold, windy and overcast morning and afternoon.
Ely skiers were also first in the junior varsity contests, with Claire Blauch and Silas Solum bagging first-place finishes.
Junior high skiers Aila Harding and Oliver Hohenstein also won their respective races to complete a dominant day for the red-and-white.
The races served as a tune-up of sorts, as Ely’s top skiers will take part in Saturday’s Mesabi East Invitational at Giants Ridge - which serves as the state’s largest regular season event and is held at the site of the section and state meets.

Fri
31
Dec

Alumni games held for hockey, basketball

Alumni hockey and basketball games were held in Ely. Hockey was played on Dec. 23 and basketball on Dec. 26.
Over 60 former players participated in the games, which have become an annual tradition.
Hockey photos were taken by Ken Hupila and the basketball games by Eric Sherman.

Fri
31
Dec

Wolves win holiday crown

by Tom Coombe
In a matter of weeks, Joey Bianco and Jack Davies have become a potent - and winning - combination for Ely’s high school boys basketball team.
That was evident this week in the Wolves’ home holiday tournament.
The hosts won the four-team event, with Bianco pouring in a career-high 36 points and taking over the title tilt - a 63-37 Wolves win over Bigfork.
Bianco also had 21 points the night before in a 77-32 first-round win over Mille Lacs, but Davies showed off his shooting abilities as well while knocking down eight three-point baskets.
Six of those triples came in the first half as Ely rolled to a commanding lead and never looked back.
Only an eighth-grader, Davies led all scorers with 26 points.
The wins extended Ely’s victory streak to three and the Wolves are 6-2 heading into a Jan. 7 showdown with Section 7A contender.

Thu
23
Dec

Hoops for the holidays in Ely

by Tom Coombe
In Ely, the holiday season usually includes plenty of basketball.
That’s again the case this year as the Memorial Gymnasium will be home to 10 games in a three-day span, starting Monday, for holiday tournaments hosted by Ely’s boys and girls high school teams.
Action begins at 4 p.m. Monday with the first of three girls games that day.
The events are back after a one-year hiatus caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Because of statewide restrictions, the 2020-21 season was delayed and didn’t begin until after the holidays.
But that’s not the case this winter, and Ely is set to host a six-team girls tournament Monday and Tuesday, with four boys teams squaring off Tuesday and Wednesday
For the second consecutive tournament, the girls field is six teams and Monday’s slate begins with Northeast Range taking on Wrenshall at 4 p.m., followed by Deer River vs. South Ridge at 5:30 and the host Timberwolves meeting Carlton at 7 p.m.

Thu
23
Dec

Pointer, Devine ski to wins

by Tom Coombe
Ely’s Nordic Wolves made the most of a challenging course and picked up two individual first-place finishes and a team win at last Saturday’s Grand Rapids Invitational.
Senior Gabriel Pointer won the boys race and junior Zoe Devine was first among the girls, and the Wolves had a strong day overall in the event at Mount Itasca, the team’s second meet of the young season.
“Saturday was a good confidence booster and a number of skiers skied very smart races,” said Ely Head Coach Paula Anderson. “It was a skiathlon, also called a continuous pursuit on a multiple lapped course and very hilly with fast downhills.”
Pointer took the lead from the start and maintained in easily in the boys competition.
The veteran Ely skier won with nearly 30 seconds to spare, completing a 7.6-kilometer, six-lap course in 24:44.3.
Fellow Ely senior Jon Hakala took third (25:33.7) and Micah Larson was fifth (25:02.7).

Fri
17
Dec

Minnesota Warriors face Ely's Rusty Blades

TOP AND BOTTOM PHOTOS - Members of the Minnesota Warriors and Ely’s Rusty Blades played two games at the Ely Arena Saturday. The Warriors program, “Educates, trains, motivates and encourages individuals who have physical or mental disabilities incurred during service to the United States, to participate in the sport of ice hockey.” Photos by Eric Sherman.

Fri
17
Dec

Nordic Wolves open season

by Tom Coombe
Just days after the area’s first significant snowfall of the season, Ely’s Nordic Wolves were on the trails with the rest of their section foes.
Results took a backseat to getting a chance to be out in the snow, and in a meet that more resembled previous seasons rather than the 2020-21 campaign that included limited participation events because of Covid-19.
Paced by three finishers among the top-25 individuals, the Ely girls were third among nine teams at the Dec. 9 Proctor-Hermantown Invitational.
The Ely boys placed seventh in an eight-team field with senior Gabriel Pointer taking ninth individually.
The event was the first of nine regular-season meets for the Wolves, including two at home, and came only a few days after Mother Nature finally cooperated by leaving several inches of snow on the trails.
It made for an odd, but long-awaited start for the Wolves, according to longtime head coach Paula Anderson.

Fri
10
Dec

Duluth Warriors returning to town for doubleheader at rink

Saturday is shaping up to be a huge day for hockey in Ely.
In addition to the Timberwolves’ high school matchup with Moose Lake, the action continues afterward with a doubleheader that features the return of the Duluth Warriors.
For the first time since 2018 a team made up of disabled combat veterans, comes to town to take on two Ely squads.
Ely’s “Rusty Blades,” adults who skate regularly at the arena, will be split into two groups to take on the Warriors.
More senior members of the Rusty Blades will compete first against the Warriors JV at 3:30 p.m., while the Warriors’ main team will tangle with the remaining Rusty Blades at 5:30 p.m.
The doubleheader comes on the heels of a 1 p.m. game at the rink, as the high school team makes its 2021-22 home debut.
The late-afternoon festivities will include a ceremonial puck drop and the presentation of the colors by the Ely Area Honor Guard.

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