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Park boys hockey: Wolfpack edged 3-2 by rival East Ridge

Park’s Pat McCarthy tries to get the puck past the Mounds View goalie in the Wolfpack’s 5-1 loss to the Mustangs. (Submitted photo by Steve Rooker)

The Park boys hockey team has taken its share of lopsided losses this seaso, but not so in facing rival East Ridge one last time.

The Wolfpack gave District 833 and Suburban East Conference rival East Ridge a tough game in a 3-2 loss on Saturday, Jan. 19, in Cottage Grove. Last time around, the Raptors cruised 8-1 on Dec. 7.

“It was our first complete game in terms of effort and intensity,” Wolfpack coach Jay Moser said about Saturday’s game.

The close game against East Ridge came as good turnaround from a 5-1 loss to Mounds View on Thursday, Jan. 16. Five unanswered goals buried the Wolfpack (1-13-1, 0-11 Suburban East) after Eric Stoffel’s power play goal early in the second period.

Stoffel had put the Wolfpack up 1-0 in the second frame at 2:25 on assists from Alex Kielsa and Jason Miner. Two power play goals by the Mustangs (5-10; 5-6 SEC)swung the momentum the other way in the same period.

An onslaught of shots by the Wolfpack with 19 in the third period could not put a dent in the score. It took only nine shots for the Mustangs to put up three more goals in the final period.

Kyle Strand took the loss in goal for the Wolfpack with 31 saves and an .886 save percentage. The Wolfpack penalty kill struggled going 1-3.

Another nearby rival, Woodbury, will come to Park on Thursday. Those two played to a 5-3 game, won by the Royals (6-12, 3-10 SEC).

Moser said it’s, “always a good game with cross-town rivals.”

—Matthew Davis