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Boys' hockey: Wildcat skaters top Warriors

The Wildcat boys hockey team picked up a 7-3 Big Rivers Conference win over Rice Lake at home Tuesday, Jan. 23, before dropping a 6-1 nonconference decision to Providence Academy Saturday, Jan. 27, in Plymouth, Minn.

Tuesday's seven goals tied a season-high for the Cats, who got a pair of goals each from Max Rotsaert and Cody Wilson, to improve to 3-6-0 in the BRC.

The game was scoreless after one period before the teams combined for five goals in a second period that ended with the Wildcats holding a 4-1 lead.

Rotsaert struck first at the 2:30 mark, assisted by Joe Stoffel, and the Warriors answered 16 seconds later but it was all River Falls after that.

Wilson put the Cats up for good at the 7:55 mark of the second with assists from Tye Kusilek and Jake Bergmanis before Max Morrow tallied an unassisted shorthanded goal just past the midpoint of the period. Wilson's second goal of the game came at 11:17 with Bergmanis and Kusilek again assisting.

Rice Lake scored twice in the third period to cut the Wildcat lead to 4-3, but River Falls closed with three straight goals from Kusilek at 14:52, Stoffel at 16:27 and Rotsaert at 16:50, to make the final 7-3. Morrow, Bergmanis and Noah LaVold each earned an assist, respectively.

Wildcat goalie Jake Miller finished with 27 saves as the Wildcats outshot the Warriors, 31-30.

Saturday Bergmanis scored the lone Wildcat goal in a 6-1 loss at Providence Academy. Providence built a 5-0 lead before Bergmanis spoiled the shutout at the 11:49 mark of the third period with Morrow and Wilson assisting. Miller made 28 saves as the Cats were outshot, 34-22.

River Falls, now 5-14-1 overall, visited fourth-ranked Eau Claire Memorial (15-2-1, 7-1-0) Tuesday, Jan. 30, and will host Chippewa Falls (9-8-1, 4-4-0) Thursday, Feb. 1, before facing Academy of Holy Angels in a nonconference game Saturday, Feb. 3, in Richfield, Minn.

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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