Top seed takes out East Ridge
INVER GROVE HEIGHTS — East Ridge battled, but top-seeded Eagan skated into the Section 3AA championship with a 2-0 win over the Raptors Saturday afternoon at Veterans Memorial Community Center in Inver Grove Heights.
Eagan (21-5-2) will play South Suburban Conference rival Apple Valley (12-14-1) for the section title Wednesday.
East Ridge ends its season with a 13-14 record.
The Wildcats got on the scoreboard late in the first period, then went up 2-0 with a goal in the third on a power play at the 1-minute, 6-second mark. East Ridge had plenty of scoring chances, but couldn't find the back of the net.
"The girls played a good game," said East Ridge head coach Tom Kulenkamp. "They got one late in the first period and then they got one — we almost killed it off but didn't quite get out of that PK, and that was the difference maker tonight."
The loss to the Wildcats snapped a five-game winning streak by the Raptors, who beat Cretin-Derham Hall, Roseville, North St. Paul/Tartan, Park and Burnsville since a 3-2 loss to Stillwater on Jan. 20.
"We just battled," said Kulenkamp. "We played great defense, had great goaltending. We had plenty of chances to score. You've got to give credit to their goaltender tonight. She played great. We had as many good scoring chances as they did."
Indeed, the two teams tied with 27 shots on goal each.
"It was an even match," added Kulenkamp. "We were right in the game but you've got to score and you've got to eventually try to punch a couple by the goalie. We thought if we could hold them to two we could get three or four, but not tonight. We had some doorsteps that we missed and we shot a couple pucks wide. We had a couple of backdoors that we swung and missed on. I thought both teams were good defensively. They're a quick team so they make you pay when you make a mistake and we had a couple of mistakes."
Fifth-seeded East Ridge had advanced on the strength of a 3-1 win against Burnsville in the section quarterfinals. But the Raptors could never cash in against a tenacious Eagan defense, and were 0-for-3 on power plays.
The Raptors had a great chance to cut into Eagan's lead with a power play advantage late in the third period, but Eagan's defense turned the Raptors away.
East Ridge senior goalie Lindsay Carlson did well in her senior finale, stopping 25 of 27 shots.
East Ridge 3, Burnsville 1
East Ridge trailed fourth-seeded Burnsville (3-12-3) by a 1-0 count after two periods, but scored three times in the third period to advance, 3-1.
Junior Addi Scribner got the Raptors on the scoreboard with a goal just 19 seconds into the third period. East Ridge's Mackenzie Werner and Fiona Claugherty then scored back-to-back goals to power the Raptors to the victory.
East Ridge senior goalie Lindsay Carlson stopped 25 of 26 Burnsville shots in the win.