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Woodbury girls hockey: Royals net first wins

Livia Twohig and the Woodbury girls hockey team earned wins over Moorhead and Henry Sibley last week to improve to 2-2 overall. (Bulletin photo by Matthew Davis)

An early-season road trip may prove crucial to the success of the Woodbury girls hockey team this season.

“We came together a little bit strong and got to know each other a little bit better, and hopefully that will translate to the end,” Royals coach Chris Leppers said.

The Royals (2-2, 0-1 Suburban East Conference) concluded their two-day road trip in northwest Minnesota with a 4-1 win over the Moorhead Spuds on Saturday, Nov. 16. Royals forwards Kayla Falconer, Erin Goodell, Cassy Morris and Sarah Wahlin all had goals against the young Spuds squad. The defense also held Moorhead scoreless on the power play.

Wahlin opened the scoring 1-0 in the first period on assists by Morris and junior forward Ashley Krinke. Morris then put the Royals back ahead 2-1 in the second period when she crashed the net and slipped in the puck. Goodell added a goal two minutes later for a 3-1 lead. Falconer put in an empty-netter late in the third period on an assist from sophomore forward Molly Potter.

“We started getting more on the same page,” Leppers said.

The Spuds turned up the pressure offensively in the third period. However, Royals senior goalie Kaelan Geisser stopped 16 shots in that period. Geisser (2-2) has a 92-percent save percentage through the first four games of the season.

“She’s playing fantastic, out of her mind,” Leppers said.

That win gave the Royals a 1-1 trip upon returning to the metro since they lost 6-2 at East Grand Forks on Friday, Nov. 15. Wahlin and Krinke had the lone goals for the Royals against the Green Wave.

“I think the trip, especially on the second night when you get win, is ending on a positive,” Leppers said.

Prior to the trip, the Royals picked up their first win, 3-1, of the season at Henry Sibley on Tuesday, Nov. 12. Goodell scored a goal at 7:05 into the first period on the assist from senior defender Libby Majerle for a 1-0 lead.

They broke a 1-1 tie after Abbie Wetzel Edstrom’s goal for the Warriors in the second. Goodell scored her second goal of the game. Geisser had 19 saves in the win.

The Royals will face the Saint Paul Blades (0-2-1, 0-0 Tri-Metro) on Thursday and take on SEC rival Park at home (0-2, 0-0 SEC) for Saturday. Another rival comes to Bielenberg Ice Arena when the Royals face East Ridge (2-0, 0-0 SEC) on Tuesday.

“Everybody’s very familiar with each other,” Lepper said about the rivalries.

-Matthew Davis