Hockey: Royal girls win 3rd straight, 5-1 over Princeton; playoffs next

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Kaitlin Braiedy and Emily Antony delivered two goals each as the Rogers Royals closed the regular season beating Princeton 5-1 at home Friday evening.

The Royals (9-12-2) had a 2-2 tie against the Tigers (12-9-3) on Jan. 22, but cruised in the rematch.

“We have had an up and down season, but seem to be hitting our stride as the section playoffs grow near,” said coach Scott Childers. “We have shuffled lines a little to find some chemistry and that seems to be working.”

Michelle Klimstra made 34 saves. The Royals had just a 36-35 edge in shots. Bridget Walter scored the lone Tiger goal.

Marissa Soppeland scored the other Rogers goal.

Braiedy and Madison Lehn supplied two assists each. Antony, Olivia Olson, Kassie Scherling and Cassie Conrad made an assist each.

The Royals take a three-game win streak into playoffs, including a 3-1 upset of No. 4 ranked Orono on Tuesday when Klimstra made 50 saves.

Section 5A, which starts Friday at Parade Ice Gardens in Minneapolis, is a tough one with three of the top-ten ranked teams, Blake, Orono and Breck.

“Our win over Orono will give us some credibility going in to the seed meeting,” said Childers, “but I’m expecting a four seed with a potential match up with Holy Angels in the first round.”

Top scorers are Antony with 13 goals and 10 assists, and Braiedy with 16 goals and 6 assists. Klimstra has a .921 save percentage and  2.74 goals-against.

The win over Orono

About the win over Orono, Childers said: “Michelle played possibly her best game of the season.  The team did a nice job of letting her see the puck and keeping the shots to the outside.”

Rogers lost to Orono 7-2 on Dec. 7 when Becky Smith had four goals and an assist, but managed to win the rematch. Childers said Mackenzie Perna had the task of shadowing Smith, who had no goals or assists.

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