Woodbury boys hockey: Royals stop skid, nearly upset EaganThe Royals snapped a four-game winless streak last week at its holiday tournament, but came up just short in the championship game.
By: Mike Longaecker, Editor, Woodbury Bulletin
The Royals snapped a four-game winless streak last week at its holiday tournament, but came up just short in the championship game.
Eagan – the No. 8-ranked team in the state – topped Woodbury 3-2 in Wednesday’s championship game at the South St. Paul Premier Tournament. The loss put the Royals’ season record at 6-4-2 overall and 2-2-2 in the Suburban East Conference.
Despite a heavy shots-on-goal disparity – Eagan topped Woodbury 46-15 in the game – the Royals played Eagan close throughout.
“Our kids played well this week,” said Woodbury coach Wes Bolin, who called Eagan an “excellent hockey team.
“They might be the best team in the metro area.”
The teams played to a scoreless first period, with the first goal coming at 4:27 in the second period when Woodbury’s Ryan Winter scored while the Royals were shorthanded.
Woodbury went on power play less than three minutes later, when freshman defenseman Hayden Shaw scored, with assists going to Blake Kelley and Winter.
Eagan even things up later in the second with two goals by Derick Kuchera less than three minutes apart.
The Wildcats scored the winning goal just over one minute into the third period. Woodbury couldn’t convert a major power-play advantage when, with two Eagan men serving penalties, the Royals pulled their goalie with about two minutes left for a 6-on-3 attack.
“We didn’t execute that as well as we would have liked,” Bolin said.
He singled out the play of goalie Josh Erickson, who 43 of 46 shots faced on the night.
“He gave us a chance to get a lead in the second period,” Bolin said. “It was good to see him play strong, particularly in the last two games.”
The loss followed two straight wins in the tournament – the first over SEC foe Hastings, the second coming against North St. Paul.
Woodbury beat North St. Paul 2-1 on Tuesday.
Winter and Kelley both scored in the North St. Paul game, while Woodbury goalie Josh Erickson fended off 18 of 19 shots on goal. The Royals out-shot North St. Paul 33-19 in the game.
The Royals opened tournament play by topping Hastings 7-5 on Monday.
Senior forward Chase Myers-Beck scored a hat trick in the game, making him one of five Royals who recorded goals. Joey Lindberg, Nate Wareham, Winter and Kelley also scored in the game. Erickson stopped 16 of 21 shots in the game; Woodbury logged 34 shots on goal against the Raiders.
Woodbury returns to SEC action this week, which began with a game against White Bear Lake that was played after the Bulletin went to press. The Royals travel Thursday to Stillwater.