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Girls hockey: Irish inconsistent at classic

The Irish placed 7th at the Louis Schmtiz Holiday Classic.

Rosemount head coach Josh Hoekstra saw some good and some bad from his team at last week's Louis Schmitz Holiday Classic.

The Irish played well in last Thursday's opener, but fell to the consolation bracket after 18th-ranked (Class 2A) Hastings scored in the final minute to sneak away with a 3-2 decision. The team returned to Schmitz-Maki Arena Friday afternoon and allowed four goals in a span of less than three minutes in a 6-1 loss to Shakopee. The Irish finally got in the win column with a 2-1 win over host Farmington in the seventh-place game Saturday morning.

"The bottom line is this: When we show up and work our tails off, we can play with anyone. When we decide we are looking to take shortcuts and cheat the game, we can get beat by anyone," Hoekstra said. "I am looking forward to the second half of the season as I believe we have learned what it takes to be successful."

Hoekstra was pleased with the team's effort in the tournament opener. The Irish posted a 33-24 shot advantage against a Hastings team that entered with a record of 8-1-4.

Kendra Goodrich got the team on the board with a goal in the first period (assist to Marie Griffith) and Hannah Esselman briefly forged a 2-2 tie with a power-play goal (assists to Kristen Reuter and Amanda Comstock) late in the third.

Goaltender Lauren Toper finished with 21 saves.

"Both teams played very hard.... After a short break over Christmas I was curious to see how the girls would respond," Hoekstra said. "They played a very good second and third period where our forecheck was as good as I have seen it all year long.... It was very discouraging to lose 3-2 after a quality performance by everyone on our team."

After the disappointing outing against Shakopee, the Irish bounced back to defeat Farmington 2-1 behind 30 saves from Topor.

Kristen Reuter got the Irish on the board with a goal on a pass from Hannah Enright in the first period. Farmington came back to even the score later in the first, but Shaniah Anderson's second-period score gave Rosemount the lead for good.

The Irish (4-9-1) resume their South Suburban Conference slate at home Saturday afternoon against 12th-ranked (Class 2A) Lakeville North.