Defense is key to Roseville girls hockey success

In the early years, the Roseville Area High School girls hockey team was usually a scoring juggernaut. That has changed in recent years and this season the Raiders are stressing a “defense first” mentality.

Through its first five games, Roseville scored nine goals and had its greatest success when holding its opponents’ scoring in check.

“We will need to play good team defense to compete,” said head coach Vic Brodt, who is in his 11th season behind the Raiders’ bench. “The players are already buying into what we are trying to do as a team and with consistent effort will surprise some teams throughout the year.”

Roseville’s top returning defenseman is senior Alli Capeti. Senior Ciara Colvard is a former forward who has been converted to defense this season. 

The netminding duties are being taken up by junior Maggie Gilchrist and sophomore Maddie Lehto, both of whom backed up Corrina Pierson last season.

Offensively, senior Madison Gaffney is Roseville’s top returning scorer. She netted 12 goals and 10 assists a year ago.

The varsity roster also includes freshmen Ellie King and Ali Granovsky and eighth grader Lauren Distad.

“They will contribute this season in spite of their inexperience,” Brodt said. “All have shown early signs that they could be impact players as they get more accustomed to the speed of the varsity level.”

Overall, the lineup is young with only four seniors on the roster. 

“We are a young team with only four seniors but expect to have some good upside as our underclassmen gain experience,” said Brodt. “The coaching staff has witnessed good senior leadership early in the season and a willingness of the younger players to learn and work hard. If these two attributes continue, the team will see improvement, which will be needed to compete and make a run for a section title.”

Roseville entered December with a record of 2-3. The Raiders opened the season with a 3-2 loss to North/Tartan and then went 1-1 on a trip up north with a loss to Grand Rapids/Greenway and a shutout victory over Duluth. Roseville made it two shutouts in a row by blanking Minnetonka on Thanksgiving eve and then opened Suburban East Conference play with a loss to Mounds View.

Gaffney led Roseville with four points (two goals, two assists) through five games and Mia Gaertner was next with three points on two goals and one assist. Lehto went 2-1 in three starts, including both shutouts.

Brodt sees Forest Lake and Cretin-Derham Hall as the top two teams in the conference.

“Although we will not be considered a favorite this season, we do feel we can compete with anyone in the tough Suburban East Conference,” said Brodt.

Roseville is in action in two conference games this week, starting on Dec. 6 with a trip to Woodbury. The Raiders then host Park-Cottage Grove on Dec. 9. 

 

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

 

2016-17 Roseville Area High School girls hockey schedule

 

Nov. 16 vs. North/Tartan 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 18 at Grand Rapids 7 p.m.

Nov. 19 at Duluth 3 p.m.

Nov. 23 at Minnetonka 7 p.m.

Nov. 29 at Mounds View 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 3 vs. Forest Lake 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 6 at Woodbury 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 9 vs. Park-Cottage Grove 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 13 at Stillwater 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 17 vs. Cretin-Derham Hall 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 20 at White Bear Lake 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 29 at Kaposia Classic TBA

Dec. 30 at Kaposia Classic TBA

Dec. 31 at Kaposia Classic TBA

Jan. 3 vs. East Ridge 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 5 vs. Mounds View 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 7 at SLP/Coon Rapids 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 10 vs. Edina 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 12 at Forest Lake 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 16 vs. Woodbury 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 21 at Park-Cottage Grove 3 p.m.

Jan. 26 vs. Stillwater 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 28 at Cretin-Derham Hall 12 p.m.

Feb. 2 vs. White Bear Lake 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 4 at East Ridge 7:30 p.m.

 

 

 

 

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