Hockey team splits home games
The Rangers lost a tough one to Stillwater at home last Tuesday, but returned to their winning ways with a shutout victory of East Ridge on Saturday.
In the 3-0 home win, both Forest Lake and the Raptors missed powerplay opportunities early on with two penalties each in the first period. But the host team took advantage of a cross-checking violation four minutes into the second period with a powerplay goal by senior Lexi Carpenter off a pass from ninth-grader Kaitlyn VanTassel.
Both Carpenter and VanTassel contributed again in the third period with assists to senior Alexa Bremer, who aimed low for the score after powerplay execution opened the door for the senior to make it a 2-0 game.
Sixteen seconds later, VanTassel sealed the scoring for the Rangers with a direct shot through pads of the Raptor goalie off an assist from eighth-grader Madi Nolan.
Head coach Ryan Sauter said defense played a large role in the win, with senior goalie Abbi White saving all 36 shots from the East Ridge offense.
“Abbi had her performance of the year,” the head coach said. “She came up with some clutch plays when we needed them.”
Sauter recalled two potentially game-changing plays from the back-ice: a diving stop to the right by White after drawing to the left of the crease, and a shot from the blue line that nearly passed through White’s goalie pads but was cleared by senior defender Karlyn Ristrom.
“Karlyn just scooted the puck out from the goal line,” Sauter said. “It never hurts to have a little help from your friends.”
Forest Lake recorded the win despite three keys athletes out with injury, forcing forwards Bremer and senior Amy Enrooth to fill in on defense.
Unfortunately for the Rangers, the depleted roster showed four days earlier in the 8-3 loss where VanTassel, Nolan and junior Becca Neumann recorded the lone goals for the home team.
At 9-5 in the Suburban East Conference, Sauter said the Ponies are a tough team to face each year for his squad.
“Stillwater is a perfect case of a team that is in our heads,” Sauter said. “You can’t take anything away from them— they put a lot of goals in the net. But they seem to get under our skin and it’s just a team that has our number.”
Forest Lake is now 11-8-2 overall and 5-8-1 in the conference, which is home to three top-20 teams in Class AA. The Rangers hosted No. 10 Roseville on Tuesday, and travel to White Bear Lake on Saturday for 7:30 p.m. matchup.