Woodbury boys hockey: Royals battle to tie with Raptors, fall to Park
It's just been that kind of season for Woodbury.
Just as one key player returned to the ice, another went down.
This week, in a key intra-district matchup against East Ridge, Woodbury lost junior forward Jack Glaeser for the season in the first shift of the first period with a jaw injury. The loss of Glaeser - one of Woodbury's top players - came in the same game that saw the return of senior goaltender Evan Broadbent.
Woodbury and East Ridge battled to a 2-2 draw on Thursday, Jan. 10, at Cottage Grove Ice Arena in a week that also brought another intradistrict matchup - a Saturday, Jan. 13, loss to Park.
The Royals' record now stands at 5-7-3 overall and 0-6-3 in the Suburban East Conference.
Woodbury head coach Wes Bolin said his Royals battled with passion in the East Ridge game, but couldn't match that level of intensity two days later at Bielenberg Sports Center against the Wolfpack.
He laid the blame for the 5-2 loss to Park at his own feet.
"Maybe I didn't do a good enough job to get them back," he said. "We've just got a long ways to go. High school kids are up one moment and down the next. It's our job as coaches to help modify those ups and downs."
Against Park, Woodbury gained an early lead behind a goal from senior forward Jordan Graham.
The lead held through the first period, but didn't stand in the second, when Park recorded three goals. Still, Woodbury went into the second intermission with a manageable deficit following a late second-period goal by senior forward Evan Roepke.
The third period, however, belonged to Park. The Wolfpack sealed the game with two more goals.
"Park played well," Bolin said.
The Wolfpack outshot the Royals 31-19 in a game that saw Woodbury spending 17 collective minutes in the penalty box.
"It's tough to create offense when you're in the penalty box, that's for sure," Bolin said.
In the East Ridge game, Woodbury grabbed a first-period lead on a goal by senior forward Ford Pendleton, with the assist going to Graham after watching Glaeser go down.
"For our kids to respond the way they did without one of our top forwards was pretty remarkable," Bolin said.
The second period saw a flurry of activity, led by the Raptors' Ian Penvose, who tied the game at 1-1. About four minutes later, East Ridge moved ahead behind a goal by Jack Greeley.
Woodbury scored the game-tying goal at 14:24 in the second when senior forward Dan Armstrong scored what Bolin called a "beautiful goal," with the assist going to Roepke.
Woodbury's last major scoring chance occurred with 18 seconds left in regulation when sophomore defenseman found Pendleton on a long pass for a breakaway that was stopped by East Ridge goalie Tyler Guck, who stopped 21 of 23 shots against Woodbury. Broadbent fended off 42 of East Ridge's 44 shots on goal.
Bolin said he's now hoping to redirect the team's energy on the remaining 10 conference games. That begins Thursday, Jan. 17, in a home game against White Bear Lake (3-3-1 SEC) and continues Saturday, Jan. 19, with a road game to Roseville (5-2-2 SEC).
"I think our kids will bounce back," Bolin said.
Editor's note: A previous Bulletin story incorrectly listed Broadbent's return during the South St. Paul Premier Tournament over the holiday break. That listing was based off erroneous game sheet statistics.