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Fifth-ranked Cretin skates past Park

Park's Anthony Brings shoots and scores against Cretin-Derham Hall in boys hockey Feb. 15, 2018, at the Cottage Grove Ice Arena. The fifth-ranked Raiders won 5-2 in the regular-season finale for both teams. John Molene / Sports Writer 1 / 4
Park senior defender Andrew Hawn tries to get the puck off the boards in the third period Thursday against a Cretin-Derham Hall opponent. John Molene / Sports Writer2 / 4
Park senior goalie Luke Maul stops this shot in the second period Thursday against Cretin-Derham Hall in SEC boys hockey. John Molene / Sports Writer 3 / 4
Keegan Oberding of the Wolfpack tries to get into scoring position against Cretin-Derham Hall late in the third period Thursday. John Molene / Sports Writer4 / 4

Fifth-ranked Cretin-Derham Hall skated to a Suburban East Conference championship Thursday, Feb. 15, with a 5-2 win over Park in the regular season finale at Cottage Grove Ice Arena.

The Raiders built a 5-0 lead then cruised home with the victory. Cretin finished with a 14-0-2 record in the SEC, narrowly winning the conference over White Bear Lake (14-1-1). It was the 16th win in the last 18 games for the high-flying Raiders (20-3-2).

Park finished the regular season sixth in the conference with a 6-9-1 record and stand 9-14-2 overall.

The Wolfpack also had the misfortune of ending the season against No. 5 Cretin and No. 6 White Bear Lake, both of which are strong contenders to make it to state.

"They're a very good team," Park coach Jay Moser said of the Raiders. "And it's tough to end the regular season with White Bear and Cretin, two state-contending teams. I'm daring to bet that White Bear will make it out of their section. But Cretin's a very good team.

"We played hard, that's all I can ask and we're down a few guys with injuries and its tough enough playing against high quality teams that skate hard and transition fast and are skilled," Moser added. "But we're asking some guys to step up their game and play against some competition that a few of them haven't seen yet this year. But they worked hard."

The Wolfpack skated well early and late, but fell victim to a 3-0 Cretin outburst in the decisive second period. Park trailed just 1-0 after one period, but couldn't hang with the Raiders in the second.

Park got on the scoreboard at the 10:42 mark of the third period on an even-strength goal by junior forward Anthony Brings. The Wolfpack closed to 5-2 three minutes later on a fluke goal by Zachary Husaby that Cretin goalie Tommy Cavanagh played too casually and watched as it slipped out of his glove.

"Unfortunately we needed a couple of those opportunities," Moser said. "That one was a gift, but that's why you play. You never know and we needed to capitalize on a couple of our opportunities. We knew we weren't going to get a ton of them so you better make sure your making good on the ones you do get."

But the Raiders controlled the game at both ends of the ice and ended up outshooting the Wolfpack 29-13.

Next up for Park is likely a section contest Tuesday against an opponent to be determined.

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