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Woodbury boys hockey: Royals look to rebound against Park

If things go in the Woodbury Royals’ favor on Thursday, two streaks will end against Park.

The Royals have lost five straight games to the Wolfpack, going back to the 2011-2012 season. Recent losses to upper echelon teams in the Suburban East Conference have the Royals entering the game with a two-game losing streak. Forest Lake and Roseville, both recipients of votes for the Associated Press top 20 poll, scored five goals each against the Royals.

“They’re veteran teams, and each team had over 10 seniors on the team,” Royals coach Wes Bolin said. “They’re both predicted for top four in the conference. We’ve got a good taste of the top of the conference. Even though the score doesn’t necessarily reflect, I think we did some good things.”

The Royals fell behind 1-0 in the first period against Roseville on Thursday, Dec. 5. A good scoring opportunity for the Royals came up short in the second period, which would have tied the game. Instead, the Raiders went ahead 2-0 in the second, and they piled on three more goals in the third for the 5-1 win.

The Royals had limited opportunities, being outshot 50-19 by the Raiders (2-2, 1-1 SEC), but the Royals killed all four of the Raiders’ power play opportunities.

Royals sophomore forward Jake Dahedl put his team on the board at the 16:59 mark in the third period unassisted, which spoiled the potential 5-0 shutout. Junior goalie Austen Macalus finished with 45 saves for the Royals.

Saturday’s game at Forest Lake (3-1-1, 1-0-1 SEC) came no easier as the Rangers jumped on the Royals with a 3-0 first period. The Royals kept fighting in their Dec. 7 contest with 22 shots, 13 that came in the final two periods. Macalus had 23 saves in the loss.

“Despite the rough start, we competed pretty well,” Bolin said.

They Royals (2-3, 0-3 SEC) will host Park of Cottage Grove (0-3, 0-2 SEC) on Thursday. White Bear Lake (4-0, 3-0 SEC) will come to Woodbury on Saturday.

—Matthew Davis