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Warriors Athlete of Week: Warriors' Abear committed to success

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Cheyenne Abear's four goals and assist during the final two rounds of the Walser girls hockey tournament landed her this week's Brainerd Warrior Athlete of the Week honors. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch Video 2 / 2

On Jan. 31, 2018, a tweet went across social media that read, "Cheyenne Abear (Brainerd HS) commits to Union College for 2019-2020."

Since then, Abear has been committed to finishing her high school career right.

The senior forward tallied both goals in the Brainerd/Little Falls Warriors 2-0 victory over Class 2A's No. 9-ranked Maple Grove Dec. 27 in the semifinals of the Walser Tournament in Edina.

One night later, she posted two goals and an assist as BLF topped Class 1A's second-ranked Breck for the tournament title.

"It was definitely something I will never forget," Abear said. "Just the three days spending with the team was amazing. We had so much fun. That transferred onto the ice. We were so energetic and we wanted to play for each other and do everything we could. Once we beat Maple Grove, we really got a good feeling that we could compete with any team. That transferred onto Breck. Then we realized we could do something amazing."

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Cheyenne Abear

  • Sport: Girls hockey
  • Position: Forward
  • Year: Senior
  • Age: 17
  • Height: 5-foot-3
  • Career highlight: Assisting on Gabbie Smith's tying goal in the Section 8-2A girls hockey final last year to advance to the state tournament
  • Other sports: Cross-country, trap shooting
  • Grade-point average: 3.5
  • Favorite class: Advanced Placement Spanish
  • Favorite food: Spaghetti
  • Favorite movie: "Creed"
  • Favorite TV show: "Friends"
  • Favorite website: Instagram
  • Favorite restaurant: Olive Garden
  • Future plans: Attend Union College and play hockey
  • Favorite athlete: Gigi Marvin
  • Twitter: @Cheyenne_Abear
  • Parents: Rob and Denise Abear

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Abear kept the scoring coming in a 4-2 victory over Class 2A's 10th-ranked Grand Rapids/Greenway Friday, Jan. 4, as she tallied another goal to give her 11 goals and 10 assists on the season.

The line of Abby Pohlkamp, Lindsey Booth and Abear has registered 36 goals and 74 points.

"We're fortunate to have the depth that we do at forward so we moved her back with Lindsey (Booth) and Abby (Pohlkamp)," Warriors head coach Jim Ernster said. "They skated as a line two years ago and they were really good, but we never revisited that last year. Putting those three back together there has just been instant chemistry in the last few weeks.

"They all move the puck really well. They can all handle the puck and they see the ice really well. All that complements itself and they're pretty tough to stop right now."

Ernster said Pohlkamp's strength and the speed and quickness of Booth and Abear make the trio especially potent on special teams.

"With that group, we just talk about sharing the puck as much as possible," Ernster said. "As well as they can zip it around, we don't necessarily try to limit them in what they can do. We have a few simple plays and then we want their creativity to kind of take hold. They win a lot of races to loose pucks on the power play and it just adds more in zone time. That's just a key during special teams because that's what is going to make or break you against some of these good teams we've been playing."

In the Warriors' first 16 games, Abear has been held pointless just five times. Her biggest point total came in a 13-0 win over Moorhead Dec. 4 when she registered a goal and three assists. She's enjoyed three 3-point games so far.

"That's what you want out of kind of your top players," Ernster said. "You want them to be consistent no matter who your opponent is. That consistency goes back to preparation. That tells us her pregame ritual is good. She's practicing well and she's getting the right rest and proper nutrition. That's a credit to her level of preparation as an individual. That's what is going to allow a player to be consistent. Lack of consistency goes back to lack of preparation. Cheyenne is the type of kid who takes hockey very seriously and her preparation does lead to that consistency."

Ernster said Abear's speed is what has helped her dominate against the top-level competition BLF has played against this season.

Abear loves playing ranked opponents, which the Warriors have done a lot this season.

"Those games where we play ranked teams are definitely a lot more fun," Abear said. "Especially in the second half of the season going into playoffs because we know how good we can play and how we can't take a shift off at all because with ranked teams they'll capitalize on any mistakes that we might make. We really have to focus on doing the little things and having energy, too."

Abear committed to Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., after a visit. She looked for her education requirements first and combined it with the chance to play college hockey.

"I always have wanted a good education so trying to find a college to play hockey and looking around I had heard Union College and I knew that the education there was spot on," Abear said. "Talking to the coaches, they were great people. I knew I wanted great leadership on an off the ice so I fell in love with the campus and the girls on the team and the coaches and how much I could learn from them.

"The amount of pressure it took off me was definitely a lot because I knew I wanted to play hockey after high school. I just didn't know where. So I was starting to stress, I guess, during my junior year. After flying out and touring, I knew that was definitely the place I wanted to be so I committed."

Other notable performances

• Izaac Herrlich, diving, scored a first-place 328 at the Fargo West Invite and won the diving event in a dual against Alexandria.

• Blaise Edinger, floor hockey, collected 10 goals and two assists in three wins at the Rochester Century Tournament.

• Matt Allord, floor hockey, finished with six goals and six assists in three wins at the Rochester Century Tournament.

• Jacob Mitchell, boys hockey, stopped 28 shots in a 1-0 shutout over Buffalo.

Jeremy Millsop

My career at the Brainerd Dispatch began May 11, 1999 after graduating from North Dakota State University. My areas of emphasis includes local high school sports, Central Lakes College, the lakes area golf mecca and once a year I dabble in the NHRA when the Lucas Oil Nationals come to Brainerd International Raceway.

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