Cats win, lose and draw
The Wildcat hockey team started the week celebrating a 3-0 victory over Hudson. It ended the week by watching two of its top players go down to injury in a 3-3 tie against Menomonie.
In between the team dropped a 4-0 decision to three-time defending conference champion Eau Claire Memorial.
The Cats, now 5-1-1 overall, 3-1-1 in the Big Rivers Conference, will next hit the ice for three games at the Rice Lake Tournament Dec. 28-30.
Last week started on a high note for River Falls with a 3-0 victory over Hudson.
After a scoreless first period, Jack Pilney scored the only goal the Wildcats would need, unassisted, at the 2:26 mark of the second.
Pilney's goal was the only scoring in the game until Mitch Johnson found the back of the net, assisted by Karl Andersen, with just over six minutes remaining. Andersen added a shorthanded goal with three minutes left, assisted by Johnson and Dylan Dock, to make the final 3-0.
Wildcat goalie Garrett Jensen stopped all 24 shots he faced to record his first shutout of the season.
"Garrett played well and we did a nice job in front of him clearing rebounds and finding sticks," Wildcat head coach Nick Jenkins said. "Garrett played very well all week. He's playing with a lot of confidence."
Jenkins said he thought the Cats looked flat in the first two periods of the win over Hudson.
"The intensity was not there until the third period," he said. "I was happy with how the boys finished, but we need a better effort to start these games."
Thursday at Eau Claire Memorial, the Old Abes scored goals in each period, including two in the second, while holding the Wildcats to 19 shots and no goals.
"They are a good team," Jenkins said. "We had some opportunities in the first period but we just couldn't put the puck away. We played them tough but they wore us down in the end."
Saturday against Menomonie the Cats saw Andersen and Neal Edge go down with injuries and allowed three Menomonie goals in the final six minutes before settling for a 3-3 tie.
"We had some adversity to deal with tonight with the injuries and I thought the guys did a good job of dealing with that," Jenkins said. "Anytime you have a teammate go down it can affect the team. But I thought the guys fought through it well."
Andersen has a broken wrist and is out indefinitely while Edge is expected to return.