by Jared Hines
Rogers skaters Paetyn Levis and Madi Chapman were the only players that Buffalo goalie Kennedy Sohler could see coming towards her late in the Royals 4-0 win over the Bison on Jan. 5.
Levis controlled the puck, forcing Sohler to decide on whether to lunge at Levis, or stay back at try to guard Chapman. She dove at Levis as Levis simultaneously passed the puck to Chapman. Chapman tapped the puck in for the Royals fourth goal and smiled as her and Levis embraced to celebrate Chapman’s fifth goal of the season.
“I think, as a team, we fore-checked really well against Buffalo tonight and got ourselves a lot of shots on net,” Chapman said after the game.
Levis started the scoring in the Royals victory, knocking in goal No. 30 halfway through the first period. Rogers edged the Bison in shots 11-4 after the first, with Sohler keeping Buffalo in the game for the visiting team and Hailey Hartlage stopping the handful of shots that she saw in the first period.
“She’s been working really hard and has been making some great saves all year,” Chapman said about Hartlage.
Marie Reimer came out late in the second period and made the score 2-0, grabbing the puck with her back turned towards Sohler and turning 180 degrees as she fired the puck into the back of the net. Sami Scherling and Ella Achterkirch assisted on Reimer’s goal, with the Royals taking 14 more shots in the second period to just three by the Bison. The two-goal lead allowed the Royals a little wiggle room to work on continue improving on the things that will make a difference later in the season.
“As a team, I think we need to continue to work on our passing and breaking the puck out of the zone quicker so that we spend the least amount of time in our zone as possible,” Chapman said.
Goal No. 31 for Levis came in the third period off a pass from Courtney Johnston. Levis had just one Bison defender to beat, putting a move on her that tripped her up and allowed Levis to slam the puck past the top right shoulder of Sohler. Chapman assisted on both goals that Levis scored, No. 12 and 13 for the Royals senior. Rogers had a 39-13 shot advantage in the win.
The Royals improved to 12-4-1 on the season and 5-1 in the Mississippi 8 conference. Next up for the Rogers is North Wright County on Jan. 10. North Wright County, another M8 opponent, is 6-10-1 this year and 3-3 in the conference. The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.