Onalaska’s senior goalie, Skylar Dannhoff made 45 saves to help her team fend off the University School co-op team’s continuous attack and survive with a 2-2 tie in overtime in a girls’ hockey non-conference contest on Friday, February 10th at USM.
Jake Haury, USM’s head coach, commented on the tie, “Onalaska is a good team. Their goalie really kept them in the game tonight. She certainly played well. I told the girls that this was like a playoff game. We made some mistakes, but overall we played a good game against them, and I hope we can concentrate on what we did well tonight as we head into the real playoffs this coming week.”
It was Senior Night for the Wildcats. They and their fans celebrated the hockey career of their sole senior, defenseman Delaney Weiss.
After the game, Weiss, one of USM’s captains, added her thoughts, “We played a team game and ended the season on a good note.”
The shot totals were equal in the opening period. Dannhoff stopped 7 of the 8 taken on her. The Wildcats’ sophomore goalie, Marie Dedert, stopped every shot she faced in the first period, including several during odd-man rushes that occurred due to imprudent pinching by Wildcat defensemen. She also stopped a breakaway late in the frame.
The one shot that Dannhoff missed in the period came off a faceoff in the Onalaska right circle. Sophomore Karly Lamoreaux took the draw and knocked the puck toward the net. It hit the leg of a defenseman and caromed to Gaby Turer, who immediately fired it into the net at 4:46.
The Wildcats outshot Onalaska 25-3 in the second period. The Hilltoppers scored on two of their three attempts. Meanwhile, Dannhoff and her cohorts kept the Wildcats off the board throughout the period.
Onalaska tied the game early in the period. Sophomore Kaley Manglitz snagged a loose puck in the middle of the Onalaska end and skated out of the zone. She passed the puck to sophomore Jaldyn Groschek along the left boards. Fter crossing into the Wildcats’ zone, Groshek dropped the puck to Magnlitz. She, in turn, passed it to sophomore Sascha Cromheecke who was speeding unchecked down the slot. Nearing the net, Cromheecke fired a shot into the upper corner over Dedert’s glove at 4:33.
Onalaska took the lead late in the period while working on a power play. At the USM blue line, senior Morgan Gargaro took a pass from Cromheecke. Gargaro passed it to senior Taylor Monroe at the left mid-boards. Monroe then passed it to Manglitz in the low slot. Manglitz skated to her right and lifted a backhander into the net at 14:10.
The Wildcats finally put another shot past Dannhoff late in the third period. Sophomore Hannah Neudorfer collected a loose puck along the right boards in the USM end and skated out. She forwarded a pass to Lamoreaux along the near boards in center ice. Lamoreaux rushed into the Onalaska zone and cut toward the slot. A defenseman stick-checked the puck away from her, but Neudorfer was trailing closely. She got the puck, slipped to the right, and, using a defender as a screen, she whipped a high shot into the far corner of the net for the game-tying goal with just 2:14 left in regulation time.
In overtime, Dannhoff and her mates survived two different penalties for too many players on the ice. The Wildcats managed to take 6 shots in the eight-minute overtime, but none made it by Onalaska’s stellar goalie.
Onalaska ended the regular season with a 9-12-1 record. The Hilltoppers face the Black River Falls co-op in a Sectional 3 Regional semi-final of the WIAA state tournament playoffs on Thursday, February 16th.
USM finished the regular season at 11-11-2. The Wildcats play the Lakeshore Lightning in a Sectional 4 Regional semi-final of the WIAA state tournament playoffs on Friday, February 17th at USM at 5:00 pm.