The inaugural game of what is certain to become one of the top rivalries in the area takes place on Saturday night as the East Ridge boys hockey team hosts Woodbury at the Cottage Grove Ice Arena.
East Ridge, clad in what we’ll refer to as a "peculiar" jersey, hosted St. Francis in its inaugural contest on Thursday night, a game referenced in a previous post on this blog.
Woodbury will head into the game following a 5-0 victory at Eastview, a game that got the blue-clad Royals back on track after a 9-1 home loss to Minnetonka last week.
The varsity puck drop takes place at 7:30 p.m. However, fan bases of both schools are encouraged to show up early — indeed, tickets were sold in advance at the arena, as well as at both WHS and ERHS.
While Woodbury and East Ridge have played each other in several sports, not since the Raptors hosting of the Royals in the season-opening football game has there been this kind of buzz around the community regarding a meeting of the two neighboring institutions.
Previous to the football game, both sides worried about the prospect of poor sportsmanship and unruly fan behavior. Those fears proved to be largely unrealized as both the blue and the gold were well-mannered and even friendly towards one another.
Hopes are that general spirit of cordiality carries over into the stands of this Saturday’s tilt.