Girls' Hockey: Raptors 'green line' produces in win vs. Woodbury
Tuesday was another productive day for the East Ridge line of forwards dubbed ‘the green line’ by their coaching staff.
The East Ridge girls' hockey team defeated Woodbury 5-0 in a Suburban East Conference game at Bielenberg Ice Arena. The line of Grace Heiting, Siobhan Claugherty and Brehna Walz produced four of East Ridge's five goals in the runaway victory.
The East Ridge coaching staff occasionally makes changes to its line pairings during games. But when they are together, those three players have used their familiarity to make up East Ridge's most consistent line.
“We’ve all been together at East Ridge since freshman year, and we even knew each other a little bit before that,” Heiting said. “So I think finally getting on the same line and getting to know each other’s styles. I think it’s starting to click.”
Woodbury and East Ridge played to a scoreless first period Tuesday before the Raptors' offense took off. Claugherty broke the tie four minutes into the second period with a backhanded shot that found the back of the net. Alyssa Wallace and Walz followed with goals scored just 30 seconds apart to put the Raptors ahead 3-0 after two periods.
After a sluggish start, the Raptors credited a balanced attack for getting the offense going.
“In our defensive zone, we didn’t play as well as we usually do,” Claugherty said about the scoreless start. “As the game went on, we started moving the puck.”
Woodbury head coach Chris Lepper said it looked like the Royals were able to follow their gameplan in the scoreless first period. But he noticed how East Ridge was able to take advantage of momentum starting with the game's first goal.
“We had a little lull in the second period, and they jumped on us and got three quick goals,” Lepper said. “Once they got that first one we got a little rattled.”
East Ridge dominated the third period with the game in control. Heiting scored two goals in the third period as East Ridge outshot Woodbury 15-1.
Lepper credited East Ridge for having a strong, physical attack in the conference game. Tuesday’s loss dropped the Royals to an overall record of 1-15 this season.
But despite the team's losing streak, Lepper has remained optimistic about some of the improvements they have made. East Ridge outscored Woodbury by a combined nine goals in two games this season, an improvement from the 8-0 and 9-1 losses to the Raptors last season.
“If you watch the puck movement, things like that, certain players are really starting to develop,” Lepper said.
East Ridge improved to 11-6 with Tuesday’s win, including a 6-3 mark in conference play. The Raptors are set to play Mounds View next on the road Thursday while Woodbury is scheduled to play Mounds View Saturday.