Royal Raptors back at .500
The South Washington County girls hockey team claimed a win and a tie in consecutive games against ranked opponents just hours apart on Friday and Saturday to reclaim a .500 record heading into this week.
After managing no more than a tie against Suburban East Conference bottom-feeder Cretin-Derham Hall last Tuesday, the Royal Raptors earned a 2-2 tie against the conference's No. 1 team, ninth-ranked White Bear Lake, on Friday night.
In the second meeting of the year between the teams, SWC fell behind 2-0 in the second period against the Bears at the Bielenberg Sports Center before storming back for a goal in each of the final two periods by defender Clare Shaw before a scoreless overtime session led to the Royal Raptors fifth tie of the year. SWC goaltender Katie Ahmann made 40 saves to earn the deadlock.
It was only the second non-victory of the conference slate for the Bears, who also lost to No. 1-ranked Roseville in December.
The knotting improved the Royal Raptors' record to 5-6-5 overall and 1-4-4 in the SEC. The team would earn victory No. 6 at Red Wing, ranked sixth in Class A, on Saturday afternoon.
The host Wingers proved to be no match for the resurgent Royal Raptors, who got the only goal they would need from forward Sydney Falconer midway through the first period.
With netminder Jessica Taplin in the midst of a 24-save effort en route to a shutout victory, SWC logged one goal in each the second and third periods from forwards April Weller and Cassie Goff, respectively to ice the triumph.
The Woodbury/East Ridge conglomerate could go over .500 for the first time since Dec. 18 if they are able to topple intra-district rival Park on Tuesday at Bielenberg. The Royal Raptors bested the Wolfpack, 2-1, on Dec. 1 at the Cottage Grove Ice Arena.