The Alexandria girls hockey program developed a comfort level in competing regularly on a bigger stage by making the jump from Class A to Class AA last school year. Now the Cardinals are looking to take another step forward in year two.

Alexandria was 17-7-3 last winter, with a 2-1 Section 8AA win over St. Cloud in two overtimes before falling to section runner-up Brainerd-Little Falls in the second round. This is a program that prided itself on dominating in the section playoffs during its reign in Class A, and the Cardinals would like to build toward that again.

“A section title and being successful at the tourney is always a goal for any team, right?” head coach Molly Arola said when asked of expectations for this year’s team. “That’s the same goal we have every year for us, of course. However, the day in and day out expectations of bringing it physically and mentally does not change. In fact, those expectations might be heightened because of the shortened season with less time to prepare.”

The Cardinals have a lot of talent to lean on, including senior captains Ali Castle (D), Anna Doherty (F) and Marki Oberg (F). Doherty was this team’s leading scorer last winter with 33 points (10 goals, 23 assists), while Oberg added 24 total points (14 goals, 10 assists).

Kaci Trosvig, a junior forward, returns after leading the team in goals as a sophomore with 17. Hailee Bailey and Jordan O’Kane anchor the back end of the defense in goal as juniors after the two split time in net a year ago. Bailey posted a .922 save percentage and 1.77 goals against average, while O’Kane had a 1.91 GAA and a .912 save percentage.

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“We have some solid speed and talent up front and solid goaltending between two junior goalies,” Arola said. “One thing about this entire group is that they have played together all through youth and have untapped chemistry.”

Arola wants her athletes to embrace this opportunity to be together on the ice after an offseason of uncertainty.

“These kids have been through enough over the course of the last year that they deserve to have the best season yet,” she said. “But that won’t happen without sacrifice, hard work, and the will to push it more than ever.”

The road won’t be easy in the Central Lakes Conference and Section 8AA, but the Cardinals are eager to get on the ice and see where they stack up against the best of both of those fields.

“As easy it sounds, we just need to go play hockey and not worry about anything else,” Arola said. “We need to be selfless and work for the girls next to us. This group has so much more to offer, and we are so excited to have that opportunity.”

2021 ALEXANDRIA GIRLS HOCKEY

SENIORS - Ali Castle, Anna Doherty, Ella Johnston, Maya Klimek, Marki Oberg, Reise Waldorf

JUNIORS - MaKenna Aure, Hailee Bailey, Autumn Blahosky, Hanley Block, Peyton Boesl, Keely Christenson, Iga Gunia, Taylor Johnson, Riley Nyberg, Jordan O’Kane, Elise Patience, Lauren Rebrovich, Olivia Strand, Kaci Trosvig

SOPHOMORES - Stella Brown, Lauren Maras, Aubrie Porter, Courtney Violette, Ella Westlund, Aurora Wirth, Sophia Wiseman

ALEXANDRIA GIRLS HOCKEY SCHEDULE

Jan. 14 vs. Fergus Falls, 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 16 at Minnetonka, 2 p.m.

Jan. 23 vs. Roseau, 3 p.m.

Jan. 26 vs. Rocori-River Lakes, 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 28 at St. Cloud, 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 2 vs. Willmar, 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 4 at Bemidji, 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 11 vs. Brainerd-Little Falls, 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 13 at Grand Rapids, 2 p.m.

Feb. 16 at Moorhead, 7:45 p.m.

Feb. 20 at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

Feb. 23 at Rocori-River Lakes, 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 25 at Sartell/Sauk Rapids, 7:15 p.m.

March 4 vs. St. Cloud, 7:15 p.m.

March 8 vs. Bemidji, 7:15 p.m.

March 11 at Brainerd-Little Falls, 7:15 p.m.

March 13 at Willmar, 3 p.m.