Raptors end regular season on high note
WOODBURY — Junior forward Erin Glancey put in two goals to lead East Ridge to a 3-1 win over Park at Bielenberg Arena Saturday evening in the regular-season finale for both teams.
After a 1-1 tie in the first period, East Ridge took a 2-1 lead into the final minute, then scored the clinching goal on an empty net tally.
It was the fourth straight win for the Raptors and sends the team into the section playoffs on a high note. Both teams came in skating well. While East Ridge had won three straight, Park had won four of its last five.
"This probably was not our best game," said East Ridge coach Tom Kulenkamp. "We just battled. We got the bounces tonight but our kids worked hard. I thought Park actually kind of took it to us in the play but we got some goals from some role players. Erin Glancey ended up getting two goals, she's a third-line player for us and that was huge because they really shut down our top two lines tonight."
The Wolfpack competed hard, but couldn't find the back of the net Saturday, however. Part of that was due to a strong game in the net by East Ridge goalie senior Lindsay Carlson. Carlson stopped 28 of 29 shots to earn the win.
"As a goalie they were all stopping the players in front and I was able to see the puck," Carlson said. "I got rebounds that they didn't get. They got rebounds that I didn't get. We all just kind of worked together in a defensive zone there and everyone backed checked.
Park opened the scoring on a goal by senior forward Tina Press at the 4:26 mark of the first period. Alivia Kons and Allison Best had the assists.
East Ridge tied it at 1-all on a shot by Glancey. Glancey then gave the Raptors the lead for good as she scored an even-strength goal at 2:07 in the second period. Morgan Werner and Addi Scribner got the assists on that goal.
That's where the scoring stood until senior forward Brehna Walz of the Raptors put in an empty-net goal with 39 seconds left.
"I think we did a really good job of just moving the puck down low and back checking, we really had to play a defensive game in the last 10 minutes or so and I think we really did that," Walz said. "We really needed it (the defense) because we weren't scoring many goals."
Park had more shots on goal than East Ridge, 29-25, but failed to capitalize on three power play opportunities.
East Ridge finished the regular season 12-13 overall and 9-7 in the Suburban East Conference, good for fifth place.
"It felt great," Carlson said. "Our whole team has been playing great lately. Everyone feeds off each other and I've just really enjoyed the last couple of games."
Park ended the regular season 13-11-1 and 8-7-1 in the conference, a half-game back of the Raptors.
The win gave the Raptors a season sweep of the series. East Ridge won the first meeting between the two teams, 7-3.
"Our goalie had a good game and the D kept the shots to the outside," Kulenkamp said. "They hit a couple posts, we got a couple bounces and it just feels good to win. We know both Park and us will have a good shot in the sections. We'll probably see each other again down the road here."
Both teams open Section 3AA tournament play Wednesday. Park earned the No. 3 seed and will host sixth-seeded Eastview at 7:30 p.m. East Ridge is on the road as the fifth seed and will face fourth-seeded Burnsville.