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East Ridge boys hockey: Raptors drop two, then turn in good effort in win

The East Ridge boys hockey team last week dropped a non-conference game against Holy Family and fell to Park High School before what Raptors head coach Doug Long said was one of the team's best games in a win over Mounds View.

East Ridge opened the week with a 2-1 loss to Holy Family on Tuesday, Jan. 10.

Holy Family jumped out two a 2-0 lead in the first period, scoring power-play goals at 5:41 and 11:31.

The teams then were scoreless until East Ridge's Jack Nickoloff gave the Raptors their only goal at 13:41 into the third period.

East Ridge put 27 shots on goal to Holy Family's 24.

The Raptors' found more scoring opportunities in a Thursday, Jan. 12 home game against Park, but still lost to the Wolfpack, 6-4.

East Ridge got on the board quickly with a Devin Donohue goal just 28 seconds into the first period. Park responded at 5:04 in the first period on a goal by Jackson Gieser.

Park took a 2-1 lead with a Chris Peterson goal just 37 seconds into the second period. Patrick Herbert tied it up at 2-2 for East Ridge before Luke Nelson and Jacob Garr scored a pair for Park to put the Wolfpack ahead 4-2 after two periods.

"Once again it was another one of those games where we took the second period off," Long said.

East Ridge notched it up again in the third with a second goal by Donohue and one by Tyler Fitzsimmons.

It was 4-4 until Park's Spencer Diedrich and Luke Nelson each found the back of the net to put Park on top en route to the 6-4 victory. East Ridge had 23 shots on goal to Park's 25. Neither team capitalized on their power plays; Park at five, East Ridge recorded seven.

"It was kind of sloppy," Long said, blaming it on the intra-district rivalry.

East Ridge celebrated the second-annual Suburban East Conference Hockey Day with a 3-1 victory over Mounds View on Saturday, Jan. 14 at Cottage Grove Ice Arena.

Ian Penvose put the Raptors in the lead 1-0 with a shorthanded goal at 14:35 into the first period. Mounds View tied it up in the second period, but East Ridge's Connor Leferink put the Raptors back on top at 2-1 with a power-play goal at 9:34 in the second.

Leferink's second goal of the game, at 8:59 into the third period, sealed the 3-1 victory for the Raptors.

Long said it was one of the team's "best, complete efforts."

"They managed the puck well, they didn't give anything to Mounds View," he said of his team.

East Ridge (4-9-2; 1-6-2 SEC) takes on cross-town rival Woodbury (6-7-3; 2-4-4 SEC) on Thursday, Jan. 19 at Bielenberg Ice Arena before facing off against Stillwater (7-5-2; 5-2-2 SEC) at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21 at Stillwater.

- Scott Wente