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Chance at win eludes Raptors

Forward Tim Wegleitner and the East Ridge boys hockey team are on the road until Tuesday, Jan. 5, when the Raptors host White Bear Lake at the Cottage Grove Ice Arena. Staff Photo by Tom Carothers.

For a while, it looked like history in the making.

In search of its first-ever win, the East Ridge boys hockey team came closer to win No. 1 than it has this year in a 5-4 loss to Suburban East Conference foe Mounds View on Saturday, Dec. 19 in Shoreview.

The Raptors took a 4-2 lead 1:20 into the second period as sophomore forward Easton Halbert netted the second of his two goals in the game on an assist by sophomore forward Braedon Hyland.

However, East Ridge (0-5 overall, 0-3 SEC) couldn't hold on as the Mustangs scored three third period goals to steal the historic win.

Mounds View's game-winner came with just over four minutes remaining in the game.

In the game, the Mustangs (3-2, 2-2 SEC) took a 1-0 lead 1:08 into the first period, but East Ridge junior forward Michael Mader and sophomore forward Matt LaForte scored-back-to-back goals to give the Raptors a 2-1 advantage just over six minutes into the game.

With 3:33 left on the clock, Mounds View tied things at 2-2, but Halbert scored his first goal of the game -- and first of the season -- just one minute later to give the Raptors a 3-2 advantage.

The Raptors had 16 shots on goal in the game, while East Ridge freshman goalie Dillon Cooper stopped 26 of 31 shots in the game.

Two days earlier East Ridge fell to unbeaten and ninth-ranked Cretin-Derham Hall 6-2 at Cottage Grove Ice Arena.

In the game, the Raiders (7-0, 5-0 SEC) scored consecutive goals just over two minutes apart in the second period to break a 1-1 tie and never looked back.

Wegleitner and East Ridge junior forward David Freiberg each had a goal and an assist in the game, while junior defenseman Grant Swansson had two assists and sophomore goalie Andrew McDonough made 31 saves in the net.

Wegleitner currently leads the team in scoring with two goals and three assists for five points in six games.

Following a short break for Christmas, East Ridge returns to the ice for competition as the squad takes part in its first-ever tournament.

The Raptors begin play in the eight-team Forest Lake Tournament beginning on Monday, Dec. 28.

ERHS travels to Shakopee on Saturday, Jan. 2.