Girls’ hockey loses to Minnetonka

Team stays optimistic despite difficult games ahead


Katie Hardie

The second period resumes for the Hopkins-Park away game at Minnetonka. Hopkins-Park lost 6-1 against Minnetonka Jan. 2.

Nicole Sanford, Ruby Stillman, and

Skating onto the ice at the beginning of the first period Jan. 3, senior Katie Fredrickson said she anticipated a tough game against Minnetonka, a talented team.

“Minnetonka is ranked seventh in the state, so we knew that they would be very hard to beat because they have so much depth and skill, but we were prepared to put up a fight,” Fredrickson said.

According to coach Chris Erickson, despite being on winter break, the team felt prepared for the challenging game.

“I thought we were a little bit more prepared than we ended up playing,” Erickson said. “We just came off our tournament after Christmas, so we only had one practice before (the game), so it was a little tough, but I thought we were ready.”

Fredrickson said while the team felt prepared for the difficult game, they lost focus, resulting in the 6-1 loss.

“I felt like we had a good practice the day before, so we felt pretty good going into the game, but when it was actually game ti

me, everyone’s legs were a little flat, and we didn’t play as well as we wanted,” Fredrickson said.

While Minnetonka scored more goals overall, Erickson said Hopkins-Park put up a fight throughout the game, outshooting their opponent in the first and third period.

“We took a few penalties, and they scored on all three power plays they had, so that’s something we need to focus on,” Erickson said. “But first period we really worked well, and we out shot them in the first period and the third period.

Fredrickson said at this point in the season, the team still has a few distinct areas to improve upon.

“We can improve on our passing and playing as a team, but we had a lot of good forechecks and neutral zone coverage, so that’s something we feel pretty proud of,” Fredrickson said.

According to Erickson, Hopkins-Park’s penalties remained their biggest setbacks.

“Really my opinion is we outplayed (Minnetonka) in the first period if you took away the penalties we got when they scored,” Erickson said. “Five-on-five I think we outplayed them in the first period, but the penalties came back and hurt us. So I think we proved we can play with them, it’s just a matter of we can’t give them opportunities (to score).”

Fredrickson also said the penalties aided in their defeat.

“We took a couple of really tough penalties which cost us goals and had some defensive zone lapses,” Fredrickson said. “A few of the penalties were borderline calls, the (referees) sort of decided the game with those penalties.”

According to Erickson, the team prioritizes improvement and aims to focus less on their opponents each game.

“We really haven’t seen Minnetonka play, and our motto all year has been ‘it doesn’t really matter the team we’re playing, we just want to keep improving and work on the things that we need to work on,’” Erickson said.

Erickson said he looks forward to playing against additional challenging teams.

“We’re just excited to get back in,” Erickson said. “(Practice) was good today, and we have three practices leading up to Edina, which doesn’t get any easier.”

Hopkins-Park’s next game will be against Edina at 3 p.m. Jan. 6 at the Minnetonka Ice Arena.