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Boys hockey: Wildcat skaters tripped up

The Wildcat boys' hockey team is still looking for its first win of the season after losses to St. Paul Johnson and Eau Claire North last week.

St. Paul Johnson scored four goals in the third period, the last an empty-netter, to post a 5-2 victory over the Wildcats Tuesday, Nov. 27, at Phalen Ice Arena before Eau Claire North handed the Cats their third loss of the season, 7-1, Thursday, Nov. 29, at Wildcat Centre.

River Falls and St. Paul Johnson were tied 1-1 heading into the third period before the Governors got the go-ahead goal 6 minutes in and made it a 3-1 game with a shorthanded goal at the 11:40 mark.

The Cats cut the lead to 3-2 just 13 seconds later when Joe Stoffel scored on the power play off assists from Jake Bergmanis and Taylor Rotsaert, but the Governors got an insurance goal with under three minutes remaining and scored an empty-netter with 38 seconds left to make the final 5-2.

Jared Plackner gave River Falls a 1-0 lead one minute into the second period with an assist from Nick Longsdorf before the Governors tied it.

Wildcat goalie Jake Miller finished with 29 saves as St. Paul Johnson outshot River Falls, 34-14.

Thursday, in their home opener against Eau Claire North, Longsdorf scored just before the end of the first period to cut the Huskies' lead to 2-1, but North went on to score two goals in the second period and three in the third to post a 7-1 win.

Tye Kusilek and Braedon Harer assisted on the goal by Longsdorf while Miller finished with 43 saves, including 16 in the second period alone. The Huskies were 1-for-5 on the power play while River Falls went 0-for-6.

The Wildcats will host two-time defending state champion Hudson (2-2) this Thursday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. before hosting Menomonie (2-2) Tuesday, Dec. 11.

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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