By Bruce Strand
Elk River Star News
The Rogers Royals late-season surge continued with a first-round playoff victory, 3-1 over Academy of Holy Angels, on Friday evening in Class 1A.
“They have a lot of size compared to us,” said Rogers forward Emily Antony, who made two assists, “so we just used our speed to beat them. We had good passes and played pretty well in the deep zone.”
The Royals’ reward will be a semifinal duel with Blake, the state’s No. 2 ranked team, on Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., at the same site, Parade Ice Gardens.
Madison Lehn got the Royals on the board just 1:17 into the game, assisted by Emily Antony. Holy Angels knotted the score on Abby Welsch’s power play goal at 14:11 the same period.
Kaitlyn Braiedy took it from there. The junior forward scored unassisted at 4:11 of the second period, and again at 8:08 of the third with an assist from Antony, her team-leading 17th and 18th goals.
Rogers (10-12-4) has won four straight, including a 3-1 upset of No. 4 ranked Orono in that span.
“Yes, we’ve been on a good streak,” said Antony. “We’ve got our lines going pretty well together, working on some chemistry …. Orono was a big game. We shut them down pretty good, and they beat us (7-2) before.”
Rogers had a 22-18 edge in shots with Michelle Klimstra stopping 17 of 18 for the win. Caroline Reister was 19-for-22 for the Co-Stars (7-17).
Blake, the top seed, ranked second in the state behind Warroad, had a first-round bye.