Apple Valley took an early lead on the East Ridge girls' hockey team on Saturday night, but the Raptors were able to cut into the lead. The Raptors weren't able to fully come back during those final two periods and it resulted in East Ridge losing 3-2 to Apple Valley and dropping to 0-2 to start the season.
The Raptors trailed 2-0 after the first period with a couple early goals for Apple Valley in the first three minutes. Then, the lead extended to 3-0 with another goal early in the second period by Apple Valley.
East Ridge cut that lead a couple minutes later when Capri Meyer connected on a goal with an assist by Fiona Claugherty to make it a 3-1 game. The Raptors were able to add one more goal in the third period as Meyer recorded her second goal of the night. That goal was assisted by Lauren Beaubien and Ally Barry.
East Ridge wasn't able to tie the game resulting in a 3-2 win for Apple Valley. The Raptors will continue their road schedule on Thursday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. at Eastview. This will be the final non-conference game before East Ridge starts their conference schedule against rival Woodbury.
When freshman Lily Fetch stepped onto the ice Thursday night, there were plenty of nerves and emotions going through her body. The one thing that never left her face was a smile.
She enjoyed every second she was on the ice as the East Ridge girls' hockey team opened up their season at home on Thursday with a game against Holy Family.
Prior to the game, senior captain Fiona Claugherty told the girls to not get nervous about the game and instead focus on each play and each moment. If they could pay attention to one play at a time, Claugherty knew this team could battle with Holy Family.
The Raptors lost 4-1 to start the season, but Fetch still had a smile on her face at post game interviews because she'll remember this day for the rest of her career. It was the night she scored her first varsity goal.
"It felt good against that team because I know a few girls, so it was fun to score it in this game," Fetch said. "I was really, really nervous and it's good to get it done on the first night. It was a good feeling on the first game."
Fetch scored the only goal for the Raptors on Thursday night as Capri Meyer found her in stride where Fetch was able to use her backhand to get the puck in the back of the net.
The goal comes at the 40:15 mark on the video below.
Her goal stopped a scoring streak for the Fire as Holy Family scored three goals in the first 12 minutes of the game. After those 12 minutes, the score was even at 1-1.
"It took us some time," Claugherty said. "We have a lot of freshmen and once we were able to get the first 10 minutes under our belt, we played much better."
Fetch agreed with Claugherty that many of the underclassmen were nervous for the first game of the season against a strong opponent that those first 10 minutes weren't their best game of hockey. She added that once the Fire scored their third goal, East Ridge head coach Kim McClintick wanted everyone to take a deep breath.
After that, the girls played a strong game and were able to attack on both sides of the ice. Goalie Emerald Kelley saved 32 of the 36 shots for the Raptors on Thursday night and some of them were pretty strong saves.
Claugherty said she saw improvement from practices to the game on Thursday as well as the growth from the first period to the last. She's hoping to see a mixture of speed and skill on both sides of the puck with the underclassmen having a lot of speed and the upperclassmen being able to provide their knowledge from previous seasons.
"We have a lot of talent on this team and I'm excited to see it unfold throughout the season," Claugherty said. "These girls were able to experience a varsity game tonight and we'll be able to learn from this as we get ready for the next game."
The Raptors have a quick turnaround as they prepare for their first road game at Apple Valley on Saturday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m.
This will be the first game for Apple Valley this season and Fetch is hoping to earn her second goal of her career on the road this weekend.
"The nerves are out of the way now and I can focus on the game ahead," Fetch said. "I'm excited about this season with everyone because we have a lot of talent on this team."