By Jake Schroer
Crow River News Sports
The season continued for the Riverhawks as North Wright County met a conference rival and another top five non-conference team.
The Riverhawks faced the Royals of Rogers in a conference showdown at the Albertville Ice Arena. A fast start got the Hawks off to a 2-0 advantage at the end of the first period. Both goals were even-strength; one scored by Greta Stanton (unassisted) and the other by Jade Ye (Rachel King).
The second period saw just one goal as the Royals cut the lead in half on a power play goal by Gabrielle Billing (Madison Lehn). The Riverhawks’ power play struggles continued as the team went 0-3 in its opportunities.
The scored still stood at 2-1 late in the game. Ye went to the penalty box, leaving her team shorthanded. With less than 30 seconds left in the game, King scored a shorthanded goal to give the Hawks a 3-1 win.
The win was a hard fought affair, and a battle, according to head coach Jason Johnson. He called it a “great conference win.” The two teams ended the game tied in shots on goal with 32.
Benilde-St. Margaret’s overwhelms NWC 6-0
The Riverhawks left the confines of St. Michael-Albertville and traveled to St. Louis Park for a contest against Benilde-St. Margaret’s.
The Red Knights scored two goals in the first after both teams played the first several minutes scoreless. The goals belonged to Kippin Keller (even strength, Ali Praus, Kaylee Druk) and Caitlin Reilly (power play, Praus).
Just nine seconds into the next period, Brittany Wheeler struck for another BSM goal (even strength, Kelly Pannek). Reilly tallied another to make it 4-0 in favor of the Red Knights (even strength, Pannek, Wheeler). She completed a hat trick with three seconds remaining in the period (even strength, Wheeler, Pannek).
Trailing 5-0 in the third period, the Riverhawks failed to get much going at all. The Red Knights scored one final goal in the third period as Wheeler added a second goal to her game (even strength, Xandi Swedberg). The Red Knights won 6-0, outshooting the Riverhawks 46-9.
Coach Johnson admitted the Riverhawks were overmatched, but said the girls battled hard against a very good and balanced team. The bright spot of the game was that neither team sent anyone to the penalty box.
The Riverhawks return to action in a tournament today at 6 p.m. against White Bear Lake at Centennial High School.