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Skippers destroy Royals in tourney finale

In a scene that became all-too familiar to Royals fans on Saturday night, Minnetonka celebrates one of its goals in a 9-1 defeat of Woodbury in the WHS Thanksgiving Tournament at the Bielenberg Sports Center. Staff Photo by Tom Carothers.

The Woodbury boys hockey team incurred the most lopsided loss of the five year-plus era of coach Wes Bolin as Minnetonka hung a 9-1 defeat on the host Royals in the championship game of the WHS Thanksgiving Tournament on Saturday night at the Bielenberg Sports Center.

It was over just moments after it began, but it took over two hours to make it official as the No. 2-ranked Skippers scored twice in the game's first 80 seconds to take a 2-0 lead and thoroughly dominated play from the opening puck drop.

Woodbury senior Max Gaede gave Royals fans temporary hope with a top-shelf goal -- his third of the season -- at 4:02 of the initial frame, but the score proved to be just a nick in Minnetonka's armor.

The Skippers re-asserted their two-goal advantage less than four minutes later with a power play tally and took a 3-1 lead into the first intermission.

Minnetonka took another man-advantage into the break and made good on its fourth score on the balance of the power play to open the second period, pushing the score to 4-1. Another extra-man score at 5:29 officially turned the contest into a rout before a short-handed goal at 9:25 had home fans heading for the exits.

Another Skippers power play goal at 15:20 ensured running time for the third and final period before yet another goal at 16:14 less-than-mercifully concluded the middle stretch with Minnetonka up 8-1.

Patrick Moore replaced Michael Ness in the WHS net for the third period and while Woodbury nearly lasted the final frame without suffering any further ignominy, a final short-handed goal in the final minute brought the count to a staggering final eight-goal spread.

Ness, hung out to dry by his defense on several occasions, made 14 saves in his two periods of work while Ness logged five stops in his period in net.

Woodbury (1-1) put just 12 shots on the Minnetonka (2-0) goal, while compiling 11 penalties in the game to eight for the Skippers.

The Royals will look to re-group as they prepare for their first road trip of the season, commencing with an appearance at the Apple Valley Sports Arena against Eastview (0-1) on Thursday.

Two nights later, Woodbury squares off against new District 833 rival East Ridge at the Cottage Grove Ice Arena next Saturday. The game will be the second of the season for the Raptors, who open up against St. Francis in Cottage Grove on Thursday.