The Forest Lake girls hockey team faced a tough opening act against Section 7AA power Elk River/Zimmerman, but of course, the Rangers are a Section 7AA power themselves, and in the clash of two powers on Nov. 14, the Rangers defended their home ice in a 4-2 win.
The Forest Lake roster lists 13 seniors this season, and it was the senior class that led the way to victory. After a scoreless opening period, senior Sydney Schmidt scored the season’s first goal at the 6:39 mark of the second period. Assists were credited to seniors Courtney Peterson and Lindsey Muntifering. The Elks struck back quickly, but the Rangers went into the intermission ahead after senior Brieja Parent tallied, assisted by senior Brooke Remington and junior Rachel Golnitz.
Senior Ellen Nelson (assisted by Golnitz and Parent) and senior Sydney Rydel (Parent and senior Ellen Nelson) put the game on ice in the third period. Senior goaltender Ally Goehner saved 24 of 26 shots to claim her own first win of the year.
The Rangers (1-0-0) were set to begin their Suburban East Conference schedule Tuesday at Roseville and will continue Thursday at 7 p.m. with a home game against Woodbury.
Another big time clash will come to the Forest Lake Sports Center on Saturday at 3 p.m. when the Rangers host Brainerd/Little Falls, last year’s Class AA state tournament runner-up. BLF began the year as the No. 8 rated team in Class AA while the Rangers started at No. 4.
There has already been a shakeup since the preseason list came out, though: No. 2 Andover, top rival of the Rangers in Section 7AA, upset No. 1 and defending champion Edina 1-0 on Nov. 7.
New Section 7AA member North Wright County came into the year at No. 7 on the state list — should be a barnburner of a season!