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East Ridge girls hockey: Raptors win three big conference games

East Ridge junior Jaedyn Walz brings the puck up ice against Park this past Saturday. The Raptors beat the Wolfpack 4-3 to improve to 9-9-1 on the year and 7-4-1 in the Suburban East Conference.

The East Ridge girls hockey team has come a long way.

After an 0-4 start, the Raptors are now 9-9-1 overall and 7-4-1 in the Suburban East Conference.

Last week, the Raptors defeated all three of its conference opponents in what was one of the most successful weeks in the program's young history. East Ridge took down White Bear Lake, Stillwater and rival Park in a stretch of five days.

On Monday, Jan. 7, East Ridge hosted White Bear Lake at the Bielenberg Ice Arena and fought to a 2-1 overtime victory against the Bears.

The scoring didn't begin until five minutes into the third period as East Ridge's Jessie Anderson scored with assists made by Maggie Ahmann and Hannah Johnson.

White Bear Lake (4-11-4; 1-7-4 SEC) tied it with just one minute remaining in regulation, sending the game to the extra frame where Johnson got the goal from an assist by Kayla Bender.

Senior goalie Katie Ahmann stopped 18 of White Bear's 19 shots.

On Tuesday the Raptors traveled to Stillwater and battled the Ponies (10-8-1; 8-4 SEC). East Ridge skated to a 4-3 victory, improving their conference record to 6-4-1. East Ridge sophomore forward Jessie Anderson led the way for the Raptors, scoring three goals - including the game-winner with 2:49 remaining in the third period. Anderson opened scoring in the game with a goal 2:39 into the first period. However, Stillwater scored the next two goals to hold a 2-1 lead into the second period. In the second, though, East Ridge freshman Anna Hafiz tied the game 2-2 with 1:50 left on the clock. Stillwater grabbed back the lead just 1:01 into the third. However, Anderson scored back-to-back goals to give the Raptors the win. In addition to Anderson, junior Jaedyn Walz had two assists and Katie Ahmann made 35 saves for the Raptors.

On Saturday, the Raptors hosted Park (6-12-1; 2-9-1 SEC) and were able to score early and often to outpace the Wolfpack 4-3, sweeping their rival in their two head-to-head regular season games.

Kayla Bender got the scoring party started midway through the first period with an assist from Katelyn Bergloff. Brooklyn Pierre then did all the scoring in the second period, netting two goals five minutes apart. The first was unassisted and the second was assisted by Bender and Katherine Scheibner.

Walz scored the final Raptors' goal five minutes into the third period. The rest of the game was all Park, as they were able to fight their way back to a 4-3 final score making it closer than it probably should have been. Goalie Katie Ahmann stopped 20 of Park's 23 shots in the win.

East Ridge took on conference leader and third-ranked Mounds View (18-0-1; 11-0-1 SEC) on Tuesday after the Bulletin went to print. Next, East Ridge travels to Forest Lake to face off with the Rangers on Saturday, Jan. 19. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.