Cats skate to tie with Raiders
The way goals were being scored early in Friday night's game at Hudson, the Wildcat hockey team's Big Rivers Conference showdown against the Raiders was shaping up to be a high scoring affair.
But after Hudson's Cody Johnson tied the score, 3-3, with his second goal of the game at the 10:35 mark of the second period, both teams' defenses took over. The Cats and Raiders played a scoreless third period and a scoreless overtime before settling for a 3-3 tie.
River Falls, now 2-0-1 overall, 1-0-1 in the BRC, hosted defending state champion Eau Claire Memorial (2-1-0, 1-0-0) Tuesday and will visit Menomonie (2-2-0, 0-2-0) Thursday.
Friday in Hudson (3-0-1, 1-0-1), the Raiders jumped on the board with a shorthanded goal just under seven minutes into the game to take a 1-0 lead. Quin Everson tied things up just over two minutes later, with an assist from Dylan Dock, but the Raiders' Johnson gave Hudson a 2-1 first period lead with a power play goal at the 11:34 mark.
"Garrett (Jensen) made some key saves to keep us in it early on," Wildcat head coach Nick Jenkins said about his team's sophomore goaltender. "Obviously it was disappointing to give up that shorthanded goal early on, but the boys responded, and we seemed to play with more confidence as the game went on."
The Cats tied the score at the 4:14 mark of the second on a power play goal by Ross Andersen, assisted by Dock and Luke Jenkins. River Falls went ahead 3-2 on Everson's second goal of the game, at the 8:59 mark, assisted by Andersen and Dock.
Johnson's second goal of the game came less than two minutes later and tied the score 3-3. The Cats killed off a Raider power play in the third period and Hudson killed off a penalty of its own in the overtime as each team failed to score.
Jensen finished with 20 saves as the Cats outshot the Raiders, 24-23.
"Our D-zone was pretty solid, but we didn't take care of the puck in transition," Jenkins said. "We had too many turnovers in the middle of the ice, whether it was in our end or the neutral zone. Against a team like Hudson, that can't happen." The Cats and Raiders will meet again Jan. 22 at Wildcat Centre.