Boys’ skaters erupt against HuskiesTwo nights after a goal-scoring party at home against Eau Claire North last Thursday, the Wildcat hockey team came up one goal short in a 4-3 loss at Big Rivers Conference co-leader Rice Lake last Saturday, Jan. 21.
By: Bob Burrows, River Falls Journal
Two nights after a goal-scoring party at home against Eau Claire North last Thursday, the Wildcat hockey team came up one goal short in a 4-3 loss at Big Rivers Conference co-leader Rice Lake last Saturday, Jan. 21.
Nine different Wildcats scored goals and 12 Cats recorded at least one point in a 11-2 victory over Eau Claire North Thursday at Wildcat Centre. The Cats scored four goals in each of the first two periods and three more in the third while outshooting the Huskies, 46-15.
“The game against Eau Claire North was a great experience for some of our younger players because they had a chance to get on the score sheet and they were able to be heavily involved in the game,” coach Brooks Lockwood said.
Junior Kyle Hargrave had two goals and an assist and senior Jack Pilney scored twice to lead the Wildcat rout.
Freshman Mason Woiwode contributed a goal and two assists and sophomore Connor Maxwell had one goal and one assist while junior Casey Jerry, sophomore Jake Halling, senior Ben Durocher, sophomore Tyler Eliason and senior Charlie Shafer tallied a goal apiece.
Freshmen Roy Cranston and Graden Gribble finished with two assists each in the victory while senior Travis Mathiesen picked up one. Sophomore Logan Ottarson recorded 13 saves between the pipes.
Saturday night at Rice Lake, the Wildcats led 2-1 early in the third but Rice Lake scored a pair of power play goals less than two minutes apart to take the lead for good and held on for a 4-3 victory.
“We couldn’t stay out of the box in the third and it wore us down,” Lockwood said. “Their top player stepped up and we couldn’t contain him. To their credit, they have a strong team and are tied at the top of the Big Rivers Conference for a reason. It was good to see that we are headed in the right direction and that we are making great strides from just a few weeks ago.”
River Falls took a 1-0 lead into the third, thanks to a shorthanded goal off the stick of Jerry, assisted by Woiwode, at the 11:12 mark of the first period.
Rice Lake tied the score five minutes into the third but the Wildcats regained the lead 59 seconds later on another Jerry goal, this time assisted by Pilney.
Wildcat penalties led to Warrior power play goals at the 6:14 and 8:07 marks of the third, and Rice Lake added an even-strength goal at the 10:07 mark to extend its lead to 4-2. The Cats got a power play goal from Ben Harris, assisted by Jerry, with 1:29 remaining to make the final 4-3.
Wildcat goalie Corbin Renslow finished with 27 saves as the Warriors outshot the Wildcats, 31-29.
Lockwood said the Cats did some good things in the loss to the BRC co-leaders.
“Our third line unit, including Tyler Eliason, Hunter Dolan, and Charlie Shafer had a great night and allowed our other players to elevate their games,” he said. “We also had another three point night from Casey Jerry, which kept us in it until the end, and Ben Harris, a senior leader on the team, did a great job getting to the net for our third goal.”
The Wildcats, now 5-11-1 overall, 2-6-0 in the BRC, hosted Chippewa Falls this past Tuesday night and will play a nonconference game at Siren Saturday afternoon. They resume BRC play at Hudson this Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m.
Read more about sports in the Jan. 26 print edition of the River Falls Journal. To purchase photos or see what's in our galleries go here: River Falls Journal Photo Galleries