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Woodbury wins, ties in SEC play

Jason Eddy and the Woodbury boys hockey team had to battle for a 1-1 tie against visiting Forest Lake last week. Staff Photo by Tom Carothers.

A tie and a win in Suburban East Conference play kept the Woodbury boys hockey team in second place in the league standings heading into the holiday break.

With only undefeated Cretin-Derham Hall ahead of them, Woodbury takes a 5-3-1 overall record, with a 3-1-1 conference mark into a three-week cessation of SEC play.

The Royals had a time of it again against Forest Lake as the two teams took to the ice on Thursday, Dec. 17 at the Bielenberg Sports Center.

The Rangers have proven to be quite a thorn in the Royals' side as of late -- Forest Lake earned a win and a tie versus Woodbury in the 2008-09 season -- and Thursday proved to be no different.

The squad representing the northernmost outpost in the SEC took a 1-0 advantage on their hosts with a goal late in the second period, and only a third-period score from forward Max Gaede prevented the Rangers from pulling off the victory.

Woodbury goaltender Mike Ness made 32 saves to preserve the tie, while Forest Lake netminder Christian Gaffy made 36 stops on a frustrating night for the hosts.

A slightly different scenario unfolded two nights later as the Royals put together their greatest offensive effort of the season to date in a 7-4 win over visiting Hastings.

"Good to score some goals on Saturday," coach Wes Bolin said. "The line of Jason Eddy, Ben Rollins and Scott Carlson has been very good."

The line accounted for two of the Royals seven goals -- Eddy and Carlson lighting the lamp -- with Gaede, defenders Andrew Herbert and Walker Hyland, as well as forwards Evan Erickson and Ty Nowicki getting in on the act as Ness made 26 saves for the win.

With the win in tow, the Royals now head to St. Louis Park for a holiday tournament appearance -- making a break from their recently-traditional appearance in the South St. Paul Premier Tournament.

"We're excited about the holiday tournament," Bolin said.

The Royals take on Centennial in the tourney opener on Monday, Dec. 28 at 5 p.m.