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Wildcat skaters No. 7 seed

Wildcat junior Nick Longsdorf (22) fights through a check by Chippewa Falls' Isaac Lindstrom (15) while chasing the puck in the corner in the first period of the Cats' 5-1 loss to the Cardinals Thursday, Feb. 1, at Wildcat Centre. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 2
Wildcat sophomore Braedon Harer fires a shot from the high slot in the first period of the Cats' 5-1 loss to Chippewa Falls Thursday, Feb. 1, at Wildcat Centre. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 2

The Wildcat boys hockey team will open the WIAA playoffs as the No. 7 seed in its 10-team sectional and host the No. 10 Grantsburg co-op in a first round regional game Tuesday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. at Wildcat Centre.

The winner will move on to face No. 2 seed Superior Thursday, Feb. 15, at Wessman Ice Arena in Superior.

Top-ranked and defending state champion Hudson earned the top seed in the sectional while Superior is No. 2, New Richmond No. 3 and Baldwin-Woodville No. 4.

The Wildcats, (5-17-1 overall, 3-8-0 Big Rivers Conference) have one more regular season game Thursday, Feb. 8, at Eau Claire North. They dropped a pair of games last week, 5-1 Thursday, Feb. 1, at home to Chippewa Falls and 8-3 Saturday, Feb. 3, in Richfield, Minn. to Holy Angels Academy.

Jake Bergmanis scored the only Wildcat goal in the loss to Chippewa Falls Thursday, scoring on a power play with just under seven minutes remaining, assisted by Eric Bark and Cody Wilson, to make the score 3-1. Wildcat goalie Jake Miller finished with 25 saves as the Cardinals (12-8-1, 6-4-0) outshot the Wildcats, 30-23.

Saturday in Richfield, Holy Angels scored four unanswered goals in the third period in an 8-3 win over the Cats.

Bergmanis had a pair of goals in the loss, scoring on a power play at 12:37 of the second period to cut Holy Angels' lead to 4-2 and scoring again four minutes later to make it a 4-3 game. But Holy Angels outshot the Cats 17-4 in the third period and scored four times to make the finals 8-3.

Taylor Rotsaert tallied River Falls' first goal of the game, on a power play off an assist from Joe Stoffel, 6:52 into the opening period to tie the score 1-1. Stoffel also had an assist on Bergmanis' first goal while Steve Klechefski earned assists on both goals by Bergmanis.

Miller stopped 37 shots as Holy Angels outshot River Falls, 45-20.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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