The tie was somewhat surprising. The loss was completely unexpected. Last week for Stillwater, to put it gently, was not kind. However, all is not lost for the Ponies, who can be excused if they had visions of conference championships and No. 1 section seeds dancing in their heads at this time last week.
A second win this season over Suburban East Conference rival Cretin-Derham Hall (10-1-0) would do much to mitigate the damage inflicted from last week, when Stillwater (8-2-1) tied Forest Lake 2-2 on Feb. 18 and lost 2-0 to Woodbury on Feb. 19. The loss to the Royals was Stillwater’s first in 16 games of the series, dating to Jan. 24, 2013.
Other than their loss to Stillwater, the Raiders, ranked No. 6 in the Class 2A coaches' poll from Feb. 17, have been cruising along mostly unchallenged this season. They’ve won all but two of their games by more than two goals, and they’ve allowed one goal seven times.
The departure of Matthew Gleason, a Mr. Hockey finalist last season, has allowed players such as Drew and Jake Fisher ample opportunity to fill the scoring void. Drew, a junior, leads Cretin-Derham Hall with 21 points and Jake, a sophomore, is the team's top goal scorer with 12.