John Molene / contributor
Woodbury got off to a strong start, but faded down the stretch Friday, Jan. 19, in a 69-53 loss to eighth-ranked Cretin-Derham Hall. The Royals led 8-3 early and were still in striking distance at the half, trailing 31-24, and with seven minutes to play, down just 51-45. But the Raiders finished strongly, outscoring the host Royals 18-8 over the game's final seven minutes to make the final score look more lopsided than the game really was. League-leading Cretin improved to 7-1 in the Suburban East Conference and 11-3 on the season.
It was lather, rinse and repeat for the South Washington County Thunderbolts Thursday afternoon, Jan. 18. The Thunderbolts improved to 3-0 on the season with another impressive early-season outing, swamping Owatonna 18-5 in adapted floor hockey in the Park High School gym. The Thunderbolts came in with lopsided wins over South Suburban (18-5) and Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville (17-8) to start the season. Thursday's game was more of the same. South Washington County jumped out to a 12-1 lead after one period and never looked back.
Park rallied from a 2-0 deficit after two periods to score a 3-2 win over rival East Ridge in a wild Suburban East Conference contest Thursday, Jan. 18, at the Cottage Grove Ice Arena. The Wolfpack pushed three goals across in the third period, including the game winner by Keegan Oberding with 3:07 to play. Park scored twice in the last 4:25 to earn the hard-fought win. "We wanted it a lot more," Oberding said. "We came out harder than them and we battled." Matt Moreland scored both of Park's other goals.
Park's Wolfpack awoke from a sleepy first half with a 22-2 run to open the second and take a 48-27 win over host East Ridge in Suburban East Conference girls basketball Tuesday, Jan. 16. Winless East Ridge got off to a fast start, jumping out to leads of 8-0 and 11-2 before the Wolfpack could get their footing. The Raptors played one of their best first halves of the season, said head coach Glen Wurm, and led 19-15 at the break.
East Ridge sophomore forward Fiona Claugherty scored a hat trick as the Raptors made it a girls' hockey season sweep over archrival Woodbury Saturday evening, Jan. 13, at Bielenberg Arena, winning 7-1. It was a similar game to the first time the two teams played this season, a 7-2 win by the Raptors back on Nov.
New Life Academy battled all the way back from a 13-point second-half deficit Friday, Jan. 12, only to fall victim to a last-seconds shot in a tough 65-64 loss to visiting Southwest Christian. It was a tough home-court loss for the Eagles who rallied from way back to take a 64-63 lead with 25 seconds left. "It was a really tough one," Eagles head coach Kory Kiekhoefer said. "Our mission after this one is we're on to the next one. To us it's only losing if you're not learning. We're going to learn from this, learn from the mistakes that we made in this one.
East Ridge's gymnasts were in the zone, rocking another record-setting performance Thursday, Jan. 11 and coming ever so close to knocking off top-ranked Stillwater. The seventh-ranked Raptors narrowly fell in the dual meet of top 10 teams, 147.875 to 147.225, but it was a performance to remember for the East Ridge gymnasts. Junior Cassie Kahrer of the Raptors won the all-around with a score of 37.9. Eighth-grade teammate Hailey Tretter was second in the all-around with a score of 36.525. "I'm shocked," East Ridge coach Caroline Urgo said. "I had no idea.
Park and visiting Woodbury skated to a 2-2 overtime in a match of numerous twist and turns in the Cottage Grove Ice Arena Saturday afternoon, Jan. 6. Woodbury's Zach Lenz slammed in the game-tying goal with just nine seconds remaining to lift the Royals into the tie. Neither team could manage a score in overtime. Park came into Saturday's game on a four-game winning streak and a 5-0-1 record in its last six games. Woodbury has been slowly improving from a rugged -7 start with two wins in its last four games. But Saturday the two rivals were fit to be tied.
Park staged a stirring third-period rally Saturday, Dec. 9, only to see it all slip away half a minute later. The Wolfpack scored twice in a minute late in the third period to tie visiting Forest Lake, but the Rangers answered with the game-winner 30 seconds later with just 1:11 left to claim a dramatic 4-2 victory.
Sixth-ranked East Ridge put five players in double figures and romped to a convincing 86-41 win over visiting Minneapolis Southwest as the Raptors opened the home season in a rare Wednesday game. New head coach Bryce Tesdahl got his first win at the school as East Ridge evened its season record at 1-1. The Raptors then improved to 2-1 with a 71-66 win over Chanhassen on Friday, Dec. 8.