With one week left to play in the 2012 regular season, Woodbury found itself in the middle of the Suburban East pack.
One win and two losses last week put the Royals' record at 3-3-1 in the SEC and 5-7-1 overall.
This week represents the last week before section playoffs begin. The Royals faced Hastings on Tuesday, Oct. 2, after the Bulletin went to press and will play Mounds View at home for the regular-season finale.
"I think we need to play better in the back and come ready to play in the playoffs to have success," said Royals coach Joe Quintavalle. "If we don't, we could be done after the first game."
Last week brought a mixed bag. Woodbury opened the week with a 2-0 loss to Roseville, but recovered against White Bear Lake with a 5-3 victory. On Saturday, Sept. 29, the Royals fell 5-3 to Prior Lake.
Against Prior Lake, the Royals fell behind 3-1 in the first half and got down by as much as 5-1 later in the game.
Still, the Royals fought back and created scoring opportunities - though not enough to close the gap. Senior co-captain Mitch Leonard scored three goals against Prior Lake. Won Suk Chung and co-captain Bobby Kostadinov - both seniors - scored a goal apiece for the Royals.
In the Thursday, Sept. 27, game against White Bear Lake, the Royals and the Bears fought to a 0-0 halftime score.
"In the second half we played more direct and created more scoring chances," Quintavalle said.
Chung and Leonard both scored two goals apiece in the second frame, along with one by Kostadinov.
"We made mistakes in the back that led to their goals so the game should not have been that close," Quintavalle said.
Goals were hard to find in the Tuesday, Sept. 25 Homecoming game against Roseville. Quintavalle said he was surprised by the Raiders' attack.
He said Woodbury couldn't match Roseville's talent that night.
"I knew Roseville would be good but I think they are the best team we faced this season," the coach said. "They are big, fast, strong and play the game the right way. ... We didn't play that bad, but we just got beat by a better team that night."