Woodbury boys hockey: Royals suffer first loss of seasonAn up-and-down week in Suburban East Conference play provided the Royals a win against a rival opponent, but also left them with their first loss of the young season.
By: Mike Longaecker, Editor, Woodbury Bulletin
An up-and-down week in Suburban East Conference play provided the Royals a win against a rival opponent, but also left them with their first loss of the young season.
Woodbury topped Cretin-Derham Hall 3-2 Thursday, Dec. 8, but lost 4-2 two days later to Forest Lake.
Despite the loss, head coach Wes Bolin said he’s pleased overall with his team’s 4-1-1 overall (1-1-1 SEC) record.
“It’s been a good start to our season for sure,” Bolin said.
He noted that not every sign of success comes in terms of wins and losses. Bolin said that shone through in Saturday’s loss when Woodbury’s shots on goal soared over the output from the Cretin game; the Royals were outshot 38-17 by the Raiders, but led Forest Lake 32-31 in shots on goal.
“We just couldn’t score,” Bolin said of the Forest Lake game.
After a scoreless first period against Forest Lake, the visiting Rangers went on a scoring frenzy in the second period, logging three consecutive goals.
Woodbury finally returned the favor later in the second when senior forward Tanner Antolak scored, cutting the Rangers’ lead to 3-1. He was assisted by junior forward Jordan Graham on the play.
Forest Lake extended its lead to 4-1 less than a minute into the third period. Woodbury made it a two-goal game when senior forward Blake Kelley scored (assists by Ryan Winter and Nate Wareham).
“It was a disappointing loss for us,” Bolin said. “We played them tough, but just not tough enough.”
Things went better against Cretin, Woodbury’s traditional hockey rival.
“Everyone wants to play them well,” Bolin said.
The Raiders drew first blood with a goal at 5:31 in the first period. Woodbury evened the score later in the period when senior Evan Erickson put the puck past Cretin goalie Alex Bailey. Chase Myers-Beck and Joey Lindberg assisted on the play.
After a second period that got scrappy about 11 minutes in – and landed two Raiders and two Royals in the penalty box for roughing – Woodbury went ahead on a goal by junior forward Ford Pendleton. The Raiders answered less than a minute later when Luke Dietsch scored on Woodbury senior goalie Josh Erickson.
Woodbury got the game winner at 7:32 in the third period on a goal by junior Graham, who was assisted by Tyler Tuneberg.
“I thought we played well down the stretch,” Bolin said.
Erickson earned the win behind net, stopping 36 of 38 shots on goal. Woodbury proved the more efficient team Thursday, scoring its three goals on just 17 shots.
Bolin said “we were fortunate” to come out on top in the close game and predicted more of the same as the season progresses.
“Our conference is so competitive,” he said. “These kinds of games are just going to happen all year.”
That continues this week, when Woodbury plays two more SEC teams, beginning Thursday with White Bear Lake – a game that Bolin said “will be another good test.”
“They’re always good,” he said of the Bears, who are coming off a win over Cloquet and matched up Tuesday against Park.
The Royals take to the road Saturday, where they’ll play Mounds View.