Corbin Boyd opened the scoring for Hopkins in the first period. Photo by Katherine Matthews
Nina Rodgers scored a goal and recorded an assist in Tuesday's win over Wayzata. Photo by Katherine Matthews
Every Hopkins goal scored on Tuesday night was followed with a rowdy fight song. Trumpets blared, tubas blasted, and drums pounded throughout the first period as the Royals band provided a high-decibel soundtrack to the hockey team’s 3-2 win over No. 4-ranked Wayzata.
The band was relatively quiet the following two periods, but No. 1 Hopkins was able to hold on to the 3-2 win.
The last time the two Lake Conference rivals met, Wayzata had the upper hand, handing Hopkins a 1-0 loss, its only defeat of the year. By taking advantage of scoring chances, the Royals were able to avenge the setback.
Corbin Boyd found the back of the net less than 10 minutes into the opening period after Nina Rodgers stickhandled her way through a couple defensemen and threw the puck on net. The juicy rebound found its place right on Boyd’s stick, who fired it into the wide open net.
“[Rodgers is] a shooter, and somehow the puck always seems to get to my stick," Boyd said. "I’m not really sure. It must be telepathy or something.”
Could be the case. After all, the two go way back, having played together in mini mites in the Hopkins Youth Hockey association. As the only two girls on the team, the pair formed a bond. Rodgers then left the association, but returned to play for the Royals years later.
“I left Hopkins, and then came back my sophomore year,” Rodgers said.
“She couldn’t stay away from me,” Boyd added.
Boyd’s goal was just one of 16 shots fired on goal for the Royals, who were outshot 28-16. Despite being outplayed offensively for most of the game, Hopkins was able to convert on its limited scoring opportunities and hold off a late surge by the Trojans.
“I don’t think it was our best effort," Hopkins coach Vin Paolucci said. "I mean, we wanted to play well, but a lot of it has to do with the other team.”
The win is just another impressive one for the top team in the state. Paolucci couldn’t help but harp on the difficulty of the Lake Conference, and it resonated on the ice.
“We expect it form every team and it’s a fun challenge for us. We got the win, but we’ll learn from it and get better,” he said.