The University School co-op girls’ hockey team lost to the Eau Claire Area Stars 4-1 in the consolation game of the Gobbler Cup Tournament played on Saturday, November 30th at the Mosinee Ice Arena.
The Stars took early control of the non-conference game with two goals before seven minutes had elapsed. They tallied two more in the second period on their way to the win. They outshot the Wildcats 37-16 in the contest. USM’s goalkeeper, Sami Stommel, made 33 saves. Naomi Stow stopped 15 of the shots the Wildcats were able to get to the net.
“The Stars are a very good team,” maintained USM’s head coach, Dan Carey. “We played them pretty well today. We had a few breakdowns, and they were able to capitalize on them. Overall, we had several girls step up to fill bigger roles for our team. We saw some good progress this weekend, and I thought the girls competed hard.”
Annika Olson scored the Stars’ first goal at 2:31 of the first period when she took a pass from her defense partner, Emmie Verhaagh, at the right point and fired a shot past Stommel.
Just a few minutes later it was 2-0. Forechecking below the goal line in the Wildcats end, Madison Schwengler sent the puck to Paige Rodriguez in the right corner. Rodriguez then centered it to Kami Krumenauer in the low slot. Krumenauer fired a low shot into the net at 6:11.
The Wildcats moved closer with an unassisted goal by Rachel Gauthier at 4:27 of the second period.
Gauthier described the situation, “I got control in the corner, carried it in front of the net, and lifted it over the goalie. A girl on defense tried to block it with her hand in the air, but it slid into the net. I was so excited after I scored; it made me so happy to finally score my first goal and it was a bonus that it was a varsity goal. I was overjoyed to contribute a goal to the team this weekend. It’s always been one goal of mine to score a varsity goal since last year, and now I have to find a new goal.”
The Stars dashed the Wildcats' hopes with a goal at 9:46. Olson sent a D to D pass along the Wildcats’ blue line to Verhaagh. Verhaagh fired a shot on net. During the consequent commotion in front, Lauren Carmody clubbed the puck into the net, giving the Stars a 3-1 advantage.
The Stars scored their final goal on a power play with just over a minute left in the second period. Bella Killey pulled the puck away from the side of the Wildcats’ net and skated into the left circle to get open. She passed the puck out to Olson at the left point. Olson then passed it to Verhaagh at the opposite point. Verhaagh skated into the right circle and fired a laser into the netting on the far side of the goal at 15:54.
After the game, Maggie Meissner, one of USM’s captains, commented on the Wildcats’ weekend, “The Eau Claire game was a hard one. They came out strong, and we ended up playing defense most of the time. So, it was a good chance to work on our D-zone coverage. The tournament has been a great experience in general. The team was really able to come together and spend time together for a longer time. Even though we didn’t get the results that we wanted in the games, they were our best games yet, and we were really able to figure out systems and just flow in general.”
The victory gave Eau Claire Area a 2-0-1 record. The Stars face off against Onalaska in a non-conference game at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 3rd at the Hobbs Ice Arena in Eau Claire.
USM remains winless at 0-2-1. The Wildcats play the Brookfield Glacier in their first Eastern Shores Conference game at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 6th at The Ponds of Brookfield.