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Girls hockey: No. 4 North pulls away in second

So far the Rosemount Girls Hockey team has faced a tough schedule.

The schedule so far this season has not been kind to the Rosemount girls hockey team.

The Irish have played three teams in the state rankings and have lost all three during their 0-5 start. The latest was a 9-2 setback to fourth-ranked Lakeville North in their South Suburban Conference opener last Tuesday at Ames Arena.

"In addition to working through some early-season off-ice issues, we have played three top-20 teams. While the start has been rough, there is no sign of quit from anyone associated with our team," Rosemount coach Josh Hoekstra said. "I have every confidence we will work through these struggles and become a competitive and determined hockey club."

The Irish hung with the Panthers for over a third of last Tuesday's contest. After escaping a first period where they were out-shot 12-3 trailing 1-0, Kristen Reuter scored a power-play goal on a pass from Amanda Comstock to tie the score 2:11 into the second.

The Panthers answered with four goals in just over 10 minutes as they outshot the Irish 27-6 in the second on their way to a commanding 51-18 disparity in the game.

It was 6-1 by the time Comstock netted a power-play goal of her own with 7:02 remaining. Hannah Esselman provided the assist.

Irish goaltender Lauren Topor finished with a season-high 42 saves.

Alexis Joyce scored four goals to pace the Panthers and five other players added single goals.

The South Suburban Conference schedule resumes tonight when the Irish host 1-3 Eastview. Apple Valley comes to the Rosemount Community Center Saturday.