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Claugherty's hat trick leads Raptors past Royals

East Ridge goalie Lindsay Carlson and defender Abby Bierwerth present a wall for Woodbury to get through in the third period Jan. 13, 2018. John Molene / Contributor

East Ridge sophomore forward Fiona Claugherty scored a hat trick as the Raptors made it a girls' hockey season sweep over archrival Woodbury Saturday evening, Jan. 13, at Bielenberg Arena, winning 7-1.

It was a similar game to the first time the two teams played this season, a 7-2 win by the Raptors back on Nov. 28.

East Ridge built a 5-0 lead through the second period before Woodbury got on the scoreboard on a power play goal late in the period.

Junior forward Katie Flynn added a pair of goals for the Raptors.

"I think we did a good job of not being selfish and passing the puck really well and using our teammates and being supportive," Flynn said. "As a team I think we did a little bit better of passing the puck than usual but this wasn't our highest intensity game."

East Ridge leading scorer Claugherty recorded her third hat-trick of the season and 23, 24 and 25th goals of the season. Claugherty scored three goals in the first meeting this season against Woodbury, notched three more against Stillwater and then topped that with a four-goal effort against Park.

"I thought it was better than average for us, especially putting the puck away and crashing the net," Claugherty said. "We crashed it more than we usually do because our coaches were getting on us about it. And I feel on the bench we were supporting us more than what we usually do which encouraged the players on the ice to really go faster and crash the net and start improving."

It was the Raptors' second straight win after four losses and tied their highest scoring game of the season.

East Ridge improved to 6-5 in the Suburban East Conference, tied for fourth place, and is 8-11 on the season.

"(We) just played team hockey tonight," East Ridge head coach Tom Kulenkamp said. "We moved the puck to each other, we were unselfish with the puck. We've been trying to work on that instead of trying to do it all ourselves this year."

The Raptors also played well on defense.

"When we back check and the forwards come back it really makes it easy for the D," Kulenkamp added. "That's the key to our defense is coming back hard and we have a good core of defensemen so when we get back pressure like that it's hard for other teams to get something going."

Woodbury lost its ninth straight and remained winless in the league, falling to 0-11 and 2-16 overall.

East Ridge skated at league-leading Forest Lake (10-1, 15-2-2) Tuesday and Woodbury hosted Roseville (2-8, 9-8-1) Tuesday, both after this story went to print.

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