Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.
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The Alexandria girls hockey program has not shied away from scheduling quality opponents outside of the conference and section in prior years, and the Cardinals wasted no time sticking to that plan this season. Alexandria hosted perennial-power St. Paul United for the opener on Saturday afternoon in a rematch of a 3-2 win for the Cardinals during last year’s Class A state quarterfinals. This time around, United enacted a little revenge by jumping out to a 3-0 lead and cruising to a 5-2 win.
The Alexandria Blizzard and Granite City Lumberjacks have played some tight games over the years, and nothing changed on Friday night at the Runestone Community Center in Alexandria. It was 3-3 after regulation, and the two teams went scoreless in the overtime session. That brought them to a shootout, where Granite City came away with the 4-3 win.
GIRLS SWIMMING AND DIVING Alexandria section finals at Sartell; 11 a.m. dive finals, 3 p.m. swim finals Morris-Minnewaska section finals, 10 a.m. BOYS HOCKEY NorthStar Christian Academy at Pilot Mound (Man.), 7 p.m. Alexandria Blizzard at Granite City, 7:30 p.m. GIRLS HOCKEY
BOYS HOCKEY Alexandria Blizzard vs. Granite City, 7:10 p.m.
You have to get back in the stand. This happens in hunting. Those are things your buddies tell you after a bad shot on an animal, but they don't help you sleep at night. Losing an animal should hurt. There is a life at stake, and it's something I take very seriously.
GIRLS SWIMMING AND DIVING Alexandria section prelims (at Sartell) 4 p.m. Morris-Minnewaska section prelims, 5 p.m.
Days in the whitetails woods won't always go as well as they did for the Krebs family on opening morning of the Minnesota firearms season on Nov. 3. That's why days like that are so special. Lauren, Hunter and Wyatt, the three children of Dean and Angie Krebs of Alexandria, all got deer on the opener, including two great bucks. Lauren, 14, has shot a deer before but tagged her biggest buck to date with a wide eight-pointer.
If Instagram and Facebook are any indication, there were quite a few nice deer taken over the opening weekend of the Minnesota firearm season. For me, it’s been a season of close calls and a few frustrations. I had one last good buck encounter on Nov. 2 with my bow in Minnesota before heading to North Dakota to hunt for a few days. I had a similar encounter with a good buck in that same spot five days earlier. This time, another buck came up from the ridge, but at very last light.
It’s been a slow first couple days of November. At this point, there should be some older bucks cruising and young bucks pestering does in earnest. So far, I haven’t seen much of it. The only bucks I saw on their feet the mornings of Oct. 31 and Nov. 1-2 were young bucks, and they were cruising on their own without any does. My best activity came early in the week with a close encounter on a 3.5-year-old on Oct. 28.
The last couple of days have been a reminder that it’s all about the food. I sat in two of my better spots on the mornings of Oct. 29 and 30. I didn’t see a single deer in six hours on Monday morning and saw just three young bucks this morning.