Rough night for Raptors and Royal Raptors
It was not a good night to be a fan of hockey an East Ridge-associated hockey team.
While the South Washington County girls hockey team -- made up of players from Woodbury and East Ridge high schools -- was in the midst of a 4-1 loss to Park at the Bielenberg Sports Center, the Raptor boys were suffering a loss of historic levels just a few miles south as Stillwater unmercifully punished their hosts, 13-1, at the Cottage Grove Ice Arena.
ERHS Boys Hockey
It has been a less than ideal re-immersion into Suburban East Conference play for the East Ridge fellas after a positive holiday break. The Raptors dropped their first three SEC contests of the new year by increasing margins after winning three of four games after school let out for Christmas.
However, nothing could prepare the Raptors for what was in store for them on Tuesday night as Stillwater, a middle-of-the-pack squad in the conference standings with a sub-.500 overall record put a lickin' on the first-year squad the likes of something rarely seen in high school hockey.
ERHS coach Doug Long's former team put four goals up on his current squad -- including a short-handed strike to open the scoring, then tagged the Raptors for six more scores in the middle frame before posting another three tallies in running time during the final stanza to win by a dozen.
Only Jack Leiviska's unassisted goal with three minutes left in the contest marred Stillwater's shutout as the Raptors defenseman made good on one of just 10 shots credited to East Ridge for the game. Conversely, the Ponies 41 shots on the Raptors net.
The Raptors have now been outscored 30-4 in their four conference games of 2010 against White Bear Lake, Roseville, Forest Lake and the Ponies.
East Ridge receives a quick respite from the SEC gauntlet as the Raptors travel to Inver Grove Heights to take on Simley on Thursday night before "hosting" fellow Cottage Grove Ice Arena tenant Park on Saturday.
Still winless in conference play, the contest against the Wolfpack -- who have won just once in the SEC this year, against Woodbury -- is the Raptors best chance yet to secure a league victory.
SWC Girls Hockey
Much of the optimism carried by the South Washington County girls hockey team after a stretch of three-straight games without a defeat evaporated on Tuesday night as the Royal Raptors were handled by the Wolfpack girls, who got their revenge for an earlier-season loss in Cottage Grove.
While SWC was able to muster a 2-2 tie against conference front-runner White Bear Lake last week before topping Red Wing -- ranked sixth in Class A -- to re-claim a .500 record, the Wolfpack were able to better their hosts this time around, dropping the Royal Raptors to 6-7-5 on the year after a 4-1 win at Bielenberg.
Park took a 4-0 lead midway through the second period before SWC was able to put up its lone tally of the evening in a game that was dominated by the Wolfpack on both ends of the ice. Park improved to 9-9-1 overall and 1-5-4 in circuit play with the victory.
The Royal Raptors now reside in seventh place in the conference standings with a 1-4-5 mark as they prepare to travel to take on defending SEC champion Roseville on Saturday afternoon.