After beating Maple Grove 4-1, Elk River can do no worse than a tie for the championship with Centennial.
by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Elk River clinched at least a share of the conference championship by thumping Maple Grove 4-1 on Saturday evening.
Jonna Curtis knocked in three more goals, giving the swift soph 32 for the season. Cassi Schreckenghaust delivered the other goal, her 11th. Samantha Geissler made 18 saves.
The No. 5 ranked Elks (17-2-3) hold a two-game lead with two games left in conference, at 10-1-2. Centennial is 9-3-2 with one game left.
While conference is not the ultimate goal — this team has a good chance to go to state and do well — it's an achievement to savor.
"It's a big deal," said coach Joe Heasley. "Centennial's been winning it for three or four years, and we've beaten them twice."
This mark's ERHS's first conference title in girls hockey since the state championship year of 2004.
Jenna Raycraft scored the goal for Maple Grove, now 6-8 conference and 7-15-1 overall. In the nets was Mary Shefveland.
The Elks seemed to have snapped out a brief slump where the went 0-1-2 over three games, scoring just two goals.
"We had a little bit of a lull there," said Heasley. "Every team has to go through that. It's pretty hard to keep up for four months. We seem to be turning it around, the last two and a half games."
Remaining on the regular season schedule are Andover there on Wednesday and Blaine at home on Saturday.
Elk River 4, Maple Grove 1
Elk River ………….. 1 3 0 — 4
Maple Grove ……. 0 1 0 — 1
1st period — ER: Curtis (Esperum, Erickson), 3:56
2nd period — MG: Roycraft (Gamache, Louden), 3:42 … ER: Curtis (Esperum, Skinner), 4:01 … ER: Curtis (Esperum, Skinner), 4:36 … ER: Schreckenghaust (Brown), 16:09
Saves — ER: Geissler 4-6-8–18 … MG: Shefveland 6-6-8–20.