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Girls hockey: Irish girls show improvement

The final scores once again ended up looking pretty lopsided, but the Rosemount girls hockey team came away from last week having shown some signs of progress according to first-year coach Tom Conboy.

Coming off losses to Eden Prairie and Wayzata by a combined score of 27-0, the Irish fell 8-1 in their home opener against Lakeville North last Thursday. There were more patches of competitive play Saturday when the Irish lost to Eastview, 7-0, at Apple Valley Sports Arena.

“The score did not reflect our effort and execution. Our performance (vs. Eastview) was great because of great effort even if mistakes were made. I am very proud of this team moving in the right direction,” Conboy said. “We are very excited with our special teams and its direction. We were able to move the puck around to create scoring chances.… All in all, we feel that this was the best performance yet with many playing their best games.”

The Irish (0-5) played the Lightning even for nearly 16 minutes before the home team scored three goals in the final 62 seconds of the opening period. The Lightning scored two more goals in the opening minutes of the second before 10-plus minutes of even play, and the same thing happened in the third with the Irish not allowing a goal over the final 12:15.

Goaltender Lauren Topor finished with 39 saves as the Irish allowed a season-low 46 shots on goal. Topor was busier last Thursday when she saved 62 of 70 shots against Lakeville North.

The Panthers led 5-0 before Kate Sullivan opened the third with a power-play goal. Gentry Bakken provided the assist.

The Irish play again Tuesday when they host Spring Lake Park.