Royals top Raptors in inaugural meetingWoodbury overcomes scoreless first period, powers past host East Ridge, 5-1, in front of full house in Cottage Grove.
By: Tom Carothers, Woodbury Bulletin
Woodbury now owns a 1-0 lead in its all-time boys hockey series against neighboring East Ridge as the Royals powered past the newcomers, 5-1, in front of a full house in "The Roost" at the Cottage Grove Ice Arena on Saturday night.
After a scoreless opening period, the Royals posted three goals in the second period and two more in the final frame before the Raptors ruined the shutout with a late tally in the four-goal victory for the senior institution.
After several near-misses in the 25-plus minutes, forward Jason Eddy gave the visitors a 1-0 lead by firing home a pass from defender Jonathan Gehrt just seconds after an East Ridge penalty ended to put Woodbury up 1-0.
Following another Raptor penalty, forward Christian Turner re-directed defenseman Walker Hyland's blast from the point into the net to give the Royals a 2-0 lead at 12:58.
Forward Max Gaede all-but put the game away less than a minute later after taking the puck into the ERHS zone, fighting off a Raptor defender, and flipping the puck into the top of the net as Woodbury took a sudden 3-0 lead into the second intermission.
Hyland and forward Scott Carlson sent many fans packing early with third-period goals at 6:39 and 8:10, assisted by a pair of Connors — Delaney and Halbert — respectively.
Yet, a shared shutout between Woodbury goaltenders Patrick Moore and Michael Ness — Moore started the game, with Ness taking over after Eddy's opening goal nearly midway through the contest — was not to be.
Following a interference penalty on the Royals, East Ridge defender Sean Rudin scored his team's lone tally of the festive night at 12:49 of the concluding stanza with an assist going to Emilio Rodriguez.
Each team would muster one more shot on net in the final minutes, but no more scores would be logged as Woodbury skated back north with its third victory of the season against one defeat.
East Ridge, now 0-2, looks to gain win No. 1 on Thursday night when it hosts Hastings.
The Royals hope to find a better result against a highly-ranked Classic Lake Conference team when sixth-ranked Edina comes calling to the Bielenber Sports Center on Tuesday night. Woodbury's last foray into competition against the Classic Lake resulted in a 9-1 loss versus Minnetonka over the Thanksgiving holiday.