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Girls Hockey: Raptors bounce back with win in the home opener

Anne Larsen puts a shot on goal during the first period of Saturday's home opener for the East Ridge girls hockey team. (Bulletin photos by Blaze Fugina)1 / 3
Andrea Arntzen moves the puck up ice during Saturday's home opener for East Ridge.2 / 3
East Ridge co-captain Alyssa Wallace skates into the corner of the Champlin Park offensive zone.3 / 3

The East Ridge girls hockey team had no problem with effort in its home opener versus Champlin Park on Saturday.

The Raptors lost their season opener on Thursday to Apple Valley 3-2 despite producing twice as many shots. Although they came away from that game feeling like they did not work hard enough, Saturday proved to be a different story. East Ridge outshot Champlin Park and halted the Rebels’ offense in a 2-0 victory.

“I feel like everyone played really well on both offense and defense,” co-captain Alyssa Wallace said. “Everyone just went 100 percent every shift.”

“We worked really well together as a team today,” added co-captain Maria Wallace. “We talked a lot.”

The Raptors entered the locker room in a 0-0 tie after the first period despite outshooting Champlin Park by 11 shots.

But Addi Scribner scored her second goal of the season early in the second to break the scoreless tie. Fiona Claugherty added another goal five minutes into the third period, also her second of the season, to give the Raptors a two-score lead. East Ridge held on from there for its first win of the season.

Junior goaltender Chloe Heiting led the Raptors to the shutout.

East Ridge head coach Tom Kulenkamp agreed that hard work was the key to Saturday’s win. He said that was not the case in Thursday’s loss to Apple Valley.

“We learned a lesson that you’ve got to bring it for three periods and you’ve got to keep working hard all the time,” Kulenkamp said. “It doesn’t matter who you play.”

The Raptors are heading into this season needing to replace six key seniors who graduated. One of those players was last year’s leading goal scorer Anya Hafiz, who is now playing Division 3 hockey at St. Mary’s University.

The Raptors finished with a record of 14-11-2 last year, and they are confident they can at least match that win total.

“We kind of have a newer team this year, so it takes us a little bit to get used to each other,” Alyssa said. “But as soon as we start clicking it will be good.”