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Girls hockey: Girls hockey starts quickly

Entering this season, the Rosemount girls hockey team knew the schedule wouldn't provide any early breaks.

With only a week of practice before the first game, and then matchups with section and conference teams immediately on the docket, there would be no easing into the 2008-09 season.

When the Irish finally hit the ice, it didn't matter who the opponent was.

With the offense leading the way, Rosemount got off to the quick start it hoped for.

The Irish scored five goals in the season-opening 5-4 win against Park. Playing on the road for the first time, Rosemount lost 4-1 at Eagan.

On Tuesday, the Irish got the chance to taste victory on the road, winning 3-1 at Red Wing.

"Obviously, it's great to have two wins," Rosemount coach Tracy Engstrom said. "But, it's still early. We have some things we need to continue to work on. Overall, the coaching staff is pleased with how we have played so far."

The victory against Park already gives the Irish a win against a section opponent. The Eagan game was a chance to see how they matched up against a Lake Conference top team, the No. 19 ranked Wildcats.

"Playing in the Lake Conference we have to be ready every game," Engstrom said. "It's just a matter of what you can do because every night you are playing a tough team.

"Games against section opponents will be a big factor in the seeding. Every game is important. Every game matters."

Allison Micheletti got things started for the Irish offense this season in the first period against Park. She converted on the power play with assists to Rachael Kelly and Sarah Tollefson.

Park had taken two separate one-goal leads, but each time Rosemount countered.

Micheletti scored again in the second, and Kelly added two goals in the third period.

With the scored tied 4-4, Tollefson scored on the power play with 1:45 remaining to give the Irish the win.

Desiree Goret made 25 saves to earn the win in goal. Micheletti and Kelly each had two goals and an assist.

Tollefson had a goal and two assists. Sadie Bigelbach, Rachel Vath and Kendra Goodrich also had assists.

"We were pleased with the performance offensively, but we were a little disappointed with the goals against," Engstrom said. "You give Park credit, they made some good plays. They were a tough team, but we have to tighten up our defensive end.

"Against Eagan, we gave up four goals, but I thought we were better. Eagan is a much tougher opponent and they have a little more scoring punch."

The scoring was evident early as the Wildcats led 2-0 after the first period.

Kelly scored the Irish's lone goal on an assist from Micheletti.

Three second-period goals -- all by Micheletti -- gave Rosemount the win at Red Wing.

The sophomore forward scored unassisted in a shorthanded situation at 3:20 of the second. Taylor Sampson fed Micheletti for the second goal and she struck again a minute later for the second-period hat trick.

"We gave up only one goal and that was a big improvement," Engstrom said. "When we score three to five pucks in the net, we should win games."