AUBURN — Greely had a relatively easy time playing its first six girls’ hockey games of the season, out-scoring its opponents 44-4 amidst an undefeated start.

One of those wins came against Leavitt/Edward Little/Poland, but the rematch was far from easy skating for the Rangers. The Red Hornets showed improvement the second time around, pushing Greely to the limit in a 3-1 win for the Rangers at Norway Savings Bank Arena.

The Red Hornets (3-3-2) got on the board first, scoring on their first shot. Freshman Taylor Cailler was successful from the left circle less than five minutes into the game.

“That goal was just a beautiful snipe, tough angle and everything, burying it up under the crossbar,” Red Hornets head coach Shon Collins said.

The Red Hornets showed a conservative approach to the start of the contest, having lost to the Rangers 5-2 just 11 days earlier. The hosts let the game come to them and gaining confidence as the first period wore on.

They didn’t put another shot on goal until the final five minutes of the opening period and faced a 9-3 deficit in that category overall.

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“We’ve been working on working harder and smarter, together,” Collins said. “I thought we kind of settled in.”

The Rangers (7-0) further added to their shot advantage with a pair of attempts in the first 30 seconds of the second period.

The Red Hornets got their first chance to go on the offensive with their first power play four minutes into the middle period. They got a couple shots off on the man-advantage, but neither could find its way in.

A rare mistake by the hosts hurt them soon after the power play ended. Ellie Schad, fresh out of the penalty box, stole the puck at her own blue line before beating Red Hornets goalie Sarah Hammond on a breakaway. The goal came 22 seconds after the completion of Schad’s penalty.

Greely scored the go-ahead and game-winning goal in similar fashion later in the period. Bella Goodwin scored 25 seconds after exiting the sin bin with two minutes to go in the second.

The Rangers put the game out of reach five minutes into the third, taking advantage of a Red Hornets’ attempt to clear the zone that deflected off a Greely player. Leah Poulin found the puck, then fed Erin Molloy, who beat Hammond for the goal.

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Leavitt/EL/Poland had two power play chances to rally back in the third, but that never came to fruition. The first man-advantage came after the hosts drew a penalty during a Greely 5-on-3, and the latter came in the final two minutes of the game.

Hammond stopped 27 of 30 shots, while Greely goalie Nica Todd made eight saves for the Rangers.

“This one, I saw progress,” Collins said, comparing the two matchups with Greely. “We did some more things against them, just a couple little breakdowns that kind of hurt us. And I think we ran out of energy.”

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