Irish girls' hockey are winners of four of last seven
The Rosemount Irish girls' hockey team seems to have turned a corner. After an eight-game streak without a win (one tie and seven losses), the Irish have won four of their last seven games and have scored 22 goals over that period.
They played in a three-game holiday tournament in Le Sueur, Minn., Dec. 28-30. Rosemount won their first two games over Mankato West and Minnesota River before losing the finale to Minnehaha United. They then fell Jan. 4 to Northfield.
The Irish shut out Mankato West 3-0 with goals from eighth-graders Makenzie Moss and Whitney Tuttle, and junior Emma Ginter. They then beat Minnesota River 6-1, scoring coming from Whitney Tuttle (two goals), freshmen Ava Nygaard and Kiersten Browning, senior Kennedy Johnson, and sophomore Ashley Tuttle.
They lost in a high-scoring game to Minnehaha United 6-4 where seven of the 10 goals were scored in the second period. The game was tied at four until Minnehaha scored two goals in the third period to win it. Freshman Lucy Jagoe, senior Abbey Sweetman and Nygaard who had two goals scored for Rosemount.
The Irish lost a close game Jan. 4 at home to Northfield 4-3. Rosemount led 3-2 heading into the third period but again gave up a pair of third-period goals to give up the lead. Ashley and Whitney Tuttle, along with Browning, scored for the Irish.
Now over halfway through the season, head coach Andrew Conboy said that his team is continuing to get better compared to last season but needs to continue working on how to finish out close games.
"We have had flashes of success throughout the season," he said. "We are a young, talented team that is still learning to finish games with leads and to play from behind. We have lots of room to grow as a group, but our overall goal scoring is up from last season and our goaltending has improved."
Conboy said that so far, his team's strength is their speed and they have continued to make improvements in several areas.
"I think when this team has faced adversity, they have handled it well as a group," he explained. "Our ability to transition pucks quickly out of our zone and through the neutral zone with our speed has been our strong suit. Our power play has struggled all season long until recently. We scored our first power-play goal at our tourney last week."
He also highlighted the play of several players.
"Whitney Tuttle and Ashley Tuttle, along with Emma Ginter, have been our main scorers and have helped us win games that way," Conboy said. "One of our captains and leaders Abbey Sweetman does a great job killing penalties and playing whatever role we need her too. Kiersten Browning returned from an injury two weeks ago and has made a huge impact and Bridget Heffron has played really well this season and surprised everyone."
With just eight games left in the month of January and one Feb. 1 before section playoffs begin, there are a few things that the Irish will keep working on.
"We should start minimizing mistakes and turnovers in our own end as the regular season winds down and we approach sections," Conboy said. "We need to be more disciplined, we have had a lot of avoidable penalties that cost us games. Our main goal should be to finish the season strong while gaining confidence going into sections. When our top two lines are producing is when we find success."
Rosemount traveled to Park of Cottage Grove on Tuesday, Jan. 9, and then host Eagan on Thursday, Jan. 11, and Moorhead on Saturday, Jan. 13.