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Woodbury boys hockey: Royals net first wins of the season

Home cooking served the Woodbury Royals boys hockey team well in their Thanksgiving Invitational on Nov. 29 and 30.

Their wins over Chisago Lakes and Hopkins secured a winning record as they go into their first full week of conference play. The Royals won their four-team home tournament in holding off Hopkins 5-3 on Saturday, Nov. 30.

The Royals (2-1, 0-0 Suburban East Conference) first carved up the Chisago Lakes Wildcats 4-1 on Friday, Nov. 29. Jack Glaeser scored two goals for the Royals, both assisted by Ryne Triemert. Their first connection came at the 15:07 mark of the first period for a 1-0 Royals lead. Triemert set up Glaeser again in the second period, which gave the Royals a comfortable 3-0 lead at the 2:32 mark.

Jared Markeson put the Royals up 2-0 late in the first period on an unassisted goal at the 15:35 mark. His and Glaesar’s first came less than a minute apart, which gave the Royals huge momentum moving forward.

Sasha Choporov sealed the game 4-0 on his third-period goal, assisted by Marshall Tschida and Seth Winger. The Royals’ shut-out bid came up short however with a late goal by the Wildcats. Royals goalie Austen Macalus finished with 27 saves and a .964 save percentage.

Choporov and Glaesar each scored goals the next day against Hopkins for a 5-3 win. They helped the Royals never trail though Hopkins persisted in keeping the game close.

Choporov scored the first of his two goals early in the first period for a 1-0 Royals lead, but Hopkins answered 10 minutes later to tie it 1-1. Mark Dornfeld scored for the Royals in the second period on an assist from Jared Markeson. Yet, Hopkins again knotted the game, 2-2, at the start of the third period.

Alec Wonsmos put the Royals back in front, 3-2, with a goal about four minutes later on an assist by Tschida. Choporov’s second goal of the game came about two minutes after the Wonsmos goal, which gave the Royals some breathing room at 4-2. Both Wonsmos and Nick Sheak assisted on that goal.

Hopkins again fought back with a power play goal at the 10:22 mark, but Glaeser preserved the Royals win with a goal at 13:58. Triemert and Markeson assisted on the goal to make it 5-3 for the Royals. Goalie Parker Balfany picked up the win in net for the Royals with 45 saves.

Before the tournament, Woodbury got a first-hand look at one of the state’s top forwards in their season opener.

White Bear Lake’s Jake Wahlin, a Division I recruit, scored two goals as the Royals fell to the Bears 5-2 in their Saturday, Nov. 23, season-opener.

“It was a very young team against the conference favorite and Top 10-15 team in the state,” Royals coach Wes Bolin said about their opener.

Against the Bears, junior forward Tristan Mayer kept the Royals in the game with the team’s first goal of the season after Wahlin’s first goal. Sophomore forward Adam Albright and junior defenseman Jordan Wilkerson assisted on the goal, which tied the game in the first period 1-1 at the Vadnais Sports Center.

Hunter Lovdokken put the Bears back in front 20 seconds later, but freshman forward Alec Wonsomos knotted the game again at the end of the period for the Royals. Glaeser assisted on the goal.

The Royals kept the game at 2-2 through most of the second period, but they surrendered their first power play goal of the season when Wyatt Newpower scored for the Bears. Two more goals by the Bears (1-0, 1-0 Suburban East) in the third sealed their win as the Royals dropped both their season and conference opener. Macalus stopped 39 shots in the loss.

“Our inexperienced showed in special teams,” Bolin said. “We will improve, though.”

The Royals will take on conference opponents Roseville (1-1, 0-0 SEC) at home on Thursday and travel to Forest Lake (2-1, 0-0 SEC) on Saturday. Both teams have strong forwards and will give the Royals a challenge on defense and goaltending. A continued scoring touch by the Royals from the Thanksgiving tourney could help them knot their first conference win.

—Matthew Davis