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Wildcat skaters stepping up

Wildcat junior Roy Cranston (11) gets off a backhanded shot from the top of the left faceoff circle in the first period of the Cats’ 11-0 win over Baldwin-Woodville last Thursday at Wildcat Centre. Cranston had two goals in the victory.

Two nights after throwing a scare into defending state champion Eau Claire Memorial, the Wildcat hockey team pounded the Baldwin-Woodville Blackhawks, 11-0, last Thursday night at Wildcat Centre.

The Cats took a 1-1 tie into the third period with Big Rivers Conference leader Eau Claire Memorial last Tuesday night before the third-ranked Old Abes scored two goals to escape with a 3-1 win at Hobbs Ice Arena in Eau Claire.

Memorial scored the first goal of the game on a power play with 31 seconds remaining in the first period before Brady Stocker tied it up for the Cats midway through the second period, assisted by Tyler Eliason and Jake Halling.

Memorial took a 2-1 lead with another power play goal 2:20 into the third period, then got an insurance goal at the 6:26 mark before holding off the Cats to improve to 7-1 in the BRC.

Wildcat goalie Logan Ottarson finished with 21 saves as the Old Abes outshot the Cats, 24-15.

Back home Thursday night, the Wildcats fired 45 shots on goal, scoring on 11 of them, while Ottarson and Brian Miller combined for 11 saves as the Cats shut out the Blackhawks for the second time this season.

Twelve different Wildcats recorded a point, led by Connor Maxwell’s hat trick and three assist night. Hunter Dolan and Roy Cranston tallied two goals each, Stocker had a goal and an assist, and Eliason, Grant Morrison and Mason Woiwode had one goal apiece while Halling and Graden Gribble each had two assists and Austin Manglitz, Sam Shafer and Reid Swanson had one assist apiece.

The Wildcats, now 6-10-0 overall, 1-6-0 in the BRC, were supposed to host Chippewa Falls this past Tuesday but the game was postponed due to cold weather and will be made up later in the season.

River Falls travels to Buffalo, Minn. for a nonconference game this Thursday, Jan. 30, before hosting Menomonie (7-8-1, 2-3-1)in a makeup game Saturday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. at Wildcat Centre. That game, originally scheduled for Jan. 14, was postponed due to snow.

The Cats will also host Spring Lake Park, Minn., in a nonconference game Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m.

Read the latest in sports in this week's print edition of the River Falls Journal.

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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