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East Ridge boys hockey: Raptors draw fifth seed, to face off with Eagan

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sports Cottage Grove, 55016
Cottage Grove Minnesota 7584 80th Street South 55016

No. 18-ranked Holy Family Catholic scored twice in the third period to cap off a 7-4 victory Saturday over East Ridge at Cottage Grove Ice Arena to end the regular season on a sour note for the Raptors.

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East Ridge (9-15-1, 6-12 Suburban East Conference) has dropped seven out of its last eight games and faces a tall task in advancing in the section tournament.

The Raptors drew the fifth seed for the Section 3AA tournament and will face fourth-seeded Eagan Thursday at the Eagan Civic Arena. The Wildcats eliminated East Ridge 5-2 last season in the semifinals.

East Ridge led Holy Family Catholic 3-1 after Derek Hammer scored his second goal of the game at 10 minutes, 2 seconds in the first period.

But the Fire (19-5-1, 12-0 Wright County) came back with four consecutive goals to grab a 5-3 lead in the second period. John Peterson, who scored three goals in the game, scored with 2 minutes left in the first period to make it 3-2 while Joey Marooney, Jacob Dickison and Matt Runyon scored in the first 5:14 of the second period.

Frans Koskinen scored at 7:26 of the second period to make it a one-goal game again for the Raptors, but Holy Family Catholic pulled away with a goal from Matt Ostertag and Peterson’s third goal of the game in the third period.

East Ridge finished 0-for-5 on the power play while the Fire put 41 shots on goal and went 2-for-4 on the power play.

Jarrod Ronquillo added a goal for the Raptors in the first period that put East Ridge up 2-1 temporarily.

Prior to the loss to Holy Family, the Raptors played their fourth overtime game of the season Thursday, but couldn’t come up with a victory in a 2-1 loss to Roseville at Cottage Grove Ice Arena.

East Ridge has gone 0-3-1 in overtime games this season.

Andrew Colvard scored 45 seconds into overtime to lift the Raiders (14-7-3, 9-5-3 SEC) to the win when Roseville broke into the Raptors’ zone on an odd-man rush.

“The one thing that we consistently do that we have to fix quick is we have to figure out how to manage the puck better,” East Ridge head coach Doug Long said. “We turn the puck over in the worst opportunities, give them advantage rushes. It’s devastating because if you do it enough they’re going to hit on one. That was the case at the end.”

The Raptors outshot the Raiders 31-27 for the game and had a brief 1-0 lead in the second period. Kevin Donohue broke through the Roseville defense at 11:26 of the second period for a goal.

The lead didn’t last long. Twenty-nine seconds later the Raiders tied it up on a goal from Matt Irwin on an odd-man rush opportunity.

Despite the loss, Long has seen signs of progress with the team.

“We talked about making some strides and we’re not that far off,” Long said. “I think our kids battled, we worked really, really hard. We’ve made a lot of strides and gotten rid of the warts in our game.”

—Nick Gerhardt

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