Ranger girls take first at holiday hockey tournament
Forest Lake undefeated at the girls’ hockey tournament in Blaine over the weekend and finished in the top spot out of four teams. The Rangers opened the holiday tournament with a 4-0 win over Hayward-Spooner (Wis.) last Thursday. Senior Lexi Carpenter recorded the first and last goals off two assists from ninth-grader Kaitlyn VanTassel and one from senior Alexa Bremer.
Senior Amy Enrooth and eighth-grader Madi Nolan also scored off passes from VanTassel, junior Rachel Skoglund and ninth-grader Nicole Langer. Senior Abbi White got the win in net with 30 saves.
On Friday, the Rangers faced another Wisconsin team, Onalaska, and beat the Hilltoppers 8-5 after a 2-1 deficit early in the second period.
It was a team effort on the scoresheet, with Skoglund and Bremer each recording two goals along with goals from seventh-grader Kasey Kasel, Carpenter, VanTassel and sophomore Kennedy Crever. Bremer and VanTassel each had two assists, while Enrooth, Carpenter and Skoglund each contributed one. White saved 33 of 38 shots on goal.
Kasel was moved up just one day before the holiday tournament due to a concussion suffered by sophomore Kayla Brust, and scored her first varsity goal this weekend. Head coach Ryan Sauter said Kasel performed very well, and the team as a whole showcased their ability to score across the roster.
“The spread and breadth of scoring is a direct result of all of their hard work during practice,” Sauter said. “They are really taking that team aspect to heart and are starting to understand the roles they play on the team.”
The Rangers went up against No. 17 (Class AA) Blaine for the championship game on Saturday and defeated the the host Bengals 3-1 despite 23 minutes of penalties.
Blaine surprised the Rangers with a quick goal just seven seconds into the game, but Forest Lake’s Skoglund responded less than two muinutes later with a solo goal.
The ice was quiet well into the second period until junior Alyssa Taylor scored for the Rangers off passes from junior Becca Neumann and Kasel. Carpenter closed the scoring four minutes later, connecting off assists from Bremer and sophomore Mady Muntifering. White allowed just one goal in 23 shots.
Sauter said after the disappointing loss to Park the weekend before competing in Blaine, where the girls lost a 3-0 to lose by one, his team was upset and determined to come back fighting.
“That was a huge disappointment, and there were a lot of broken hearts in the locker room,” Sauter said. “To see them that upset over a conference game says something about the level they expect to play and perform at. They refocused and came out with a vengeance against Blaine. It was incredible and something to be admired by anyone who follows Forest Lake hockey.”
The Rangers now sit at 6-6-2 overall, one win higher than last season’s mark of 5-18-3. With 11 regular-season matchups left, Forest Lake will next travel to Park on Friday for a 7:15 p.m. game.