Hibbing Daily Tribune

HIBBING — It was only one game, but the Hibbing/Chisholm High School boys hockey team finally got their feet wet in the 2019-20 season.

The Bluejackets lost to Virginia 3-1, but they took some valuable lessons out of that game.

One particular, which hurt Hibbing/Chisholm last year, is taking penalties at inopportune times.

That’s something the Bluejackets will have to clean up, especially today when they travel to Proctor to take on the Rails in a 7 p.m., contest.

What did Hibbing/Chisholm coach Justin Tomberlin see out of his team after game one?

“I saw a young team that made a lot of mistakes,”Tomberlin said. “There were some positives, too. Watching the film, we were better than I thought. We’re getting better, but we can’t shoot ourselves in the foot.

“We can’t go on the road and take penalties. That’s a recipe for disaster. We have to manage the puck, and stay out of the box. That’s the key.”

As far as line combinations go, Tomberlin liked the way Mitchell Ziemba, Joe Allison and Kasey Kemp played throughout the game.

“They, at times, played well,” Tomberlin said. “They moved the puck well. They have to bury the puck. They had a lot of chances. Our other two lines are a work in progress. They have to get better.”

Defensively, Tomberlin said he liked the way Drew Kubena played, but the Bluejackets are young on the blue line.

“We have to do all of the little things in the D-zone,” Tomberlin said. “We’re still undong a lot of bad habits. That’s a work in progress. It helps us defensively when we do other things, if we forecheck right

“If we don’t, we give up odd-man rushes, which we gave up way too many. We have to manage the puck. If we turn it over, that will put pressure on us defensively. We can’t give up odd-man rushes.”

Tomberlin expects the Rails to be tough.

“They have the best team they’ve had in years,” Tomberlin said. “We have to go on the road and that’s a different animal. We have to stay out of the box. We can’t turn the puck over.

“We work so hard to get a goal ourselves, and we can’t give them back. We’ll have to play a sound game defensively to win.”

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