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Woodbury girls hockey: Royals drop two straight after East Ridge tie

Woodbury senior Sarah Wahlin and the Royals fell to Suburban East Conference powers Roseville and Mounds View last week. (Bulletin photo by Matthew Davis)

Tying up East Ridge on Jan. 10 gave the Woodbury Royals a lift in their season.

But it did not give them enough of a boost against Suburban East Conference powers Roseville and Mounds View. Both teams also rank in the top 20 among all teams in the state.

The Royals (6-13-1; 1-11-1 SEC) endured 44 shots by the No. 16-ranked Roseville Raiders on Thursday, Jan. 16, through two periods alone in a 6-0 loss. Four of those goals came in the first period. Kaelan Geisser took the loss in goal for the Royals despite 53 saves and an .898 save percentage. Offensively, the Royals mustered only 12 shots in the game against Roseville (13-8; 9-5 SEC) at Bielenberg Ice Arena.

Early-game struggles continued for the Royals asthe Mounds View Mustangs stampeded to a 3-0 lead after one period with 19 shots. Livia Twohig and Katilyn Gillen kept the Royals within three goals through most of the second period.

Gillen scored her first varsity goal in the process. Kayla Falconer and Twohig assisted on Gillen’s goal.

“Although the score against Mounds View looks one-sided, the Royals missed on a few breakaways and had some quality scoring changes,” Royals coach Chris Lepper said. “The girls played really hard, but we just did not match their speed.”

The No. 14-rated Mustangs (12-6-3; 11-2-1 SEC) pulled away after Gillen’s goal with three unanswered for an 8-2 win on Saturday, Jan. 18 at the Schwan Super Rink. The Royals offense again sputtered in producing shots with only 18. They gave up 59 by the Mustangs. Geisser had 51 saves in goal for the Royals with an .864 save percentage.

“Kaelan Geisser, although giving up 16 goals, faced 117 shots this past week,” Lepper said. “She played really well.”

The Royals play at Park (3-15-2, 1-10-2 SEC) on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. after Tuesday’s game with Hastings (10-9-1, 6-6-1 SEC). The Royals then host White Bear Lake (7-10-3, 2-8-3 SEC) on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and then visit Stillwater on Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m.

“As we move towards seedings for playoffs, the games against Hastings and Park have serious playoff implications for the Royals,” Lepper said.

—Matthew Davis