2011-12 Winter Preview: East Ridge boys hockey team has 13 juniors on rosterAfter losing nine seniors in its first-ever graduating class, the East Ridge boys hockey team will lean on plenty of new players this winter.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, Woodbury Bulletin
After losing nine seniors in its first-ever graduating class, the East Ridge boys hockey team will lean on plenty of new players this winter.
East Ridge has five seniors, 13 juniors and three sophomores on its roster this season. East Ridge head coach Doug Long said that “all will play an integral role on our team.”
“Our team chemistry will be the backbone of our team this year,” Long said. “We have a great group of kids that are all willing to do what it takes to reach their goals.”
Top scorers returning to the ice for East Ridge this season include Jack Greeley and Ian Penvose. Greeley had 19 points last year on 11 goals and eight assists, good for fifth-most on the team. Penvose had 15 points on four goals and 11 assists, which was the sixth-highest point total for the Raptors. Penvose will serve as team captain along with senior Ryan Karrow.
The team also welcomes back its starting goaltender from last year in senior Andrew McDonough, who played in 21 games, totaling a 3.42 goals against average, a .894 save percentage and one shutout.
East Ridge will, however, need to replace quite a bit of offense as the Raptors graduated their top four scorers from last year – Kevin Walz (33 points), Alex Idso (28 points), Michael Mader (20 points) and Tim Wegleitner (20 points).
In the offseason, East Ridge lost Braedon Hyland, who died following a car accident in October.
“He will be missed dearly,” Long said.
East Ridge and Woodbury will have a pre-game ceremony to honor the life of Hyland on Saturday, Dec. 3 before their game at Cottage Grove Ice Arena.
This season, East Ridge’s biggest competition in the Suburban East Conference will come from the usual suspects – White Bear Lake, Forest Lake, Roseville and Woodbury. In Section 3AA, the toughest challangers will be Eagan, Apple Valley, Woodbury and Eastview. Eagan is ranked No. 2 in the Class AA state polls. Apple Valley is 17th and White Bear Lake is 18th.