by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
The Rogers hockey team, coming off one of its biggest wins ever three nights earlier, took a tumble on Thursday evening, as old nemesis Buffalo thumped the Royals 5-1 in their conference opener.
The Royals (5-2-1) trailed by just 2-1 after Kelsey Johnston scored on a power play 2:54 into the third period, assisted by Tori Noland and Emily Antony.
However, Emily Varner answered for Buffalo at 7:15 for a 3-1 edge, and the Royals, deflated, then gave up two power play goals, by Varner and Emily Adkin.
Rogers had tripped previously-unbeaten Mahtomedi 3-2 on Monday evening.
“Typically we are the stronger team (physically) most of the time and we were able to take it to Mahtomedi,” said Rogers coach Scott Childers. “But Buffalo was stronger than we were.
“Buffalo is a big double-A program, with Delano, Maple Lake and Rockford with them. I don’t remember us ever beating them. But we will give them a better game next time.”
The Bison took a quick 2-0 lead on goals by Katie Rooney and Ashley Effertz in the first 10 minutes against freshman goalie Michelle Klimstra. The second period was scoreless.
Klimstra would stop 30 of 35 shots and Buffalo’s Lindsay Hartfiel stopped 24 of 25.
Rogers will play at Sartell-St. Stephens on Saturday, 1:30 p.m.