A fast, aggressive Central Wisconsin Storm squad used a big second period to pull away from and defeat the Hayward Co-Op Hurricanes 5-1 on Friday in the opening round of the Gobbler Cup tournament at the Mosinee City Recreation Center.
The Storm dominated puck possession for the first six minutes of the game, but a Tristan Wicklund cross-checking penalty seemed to reset everything on the ice, and teams were even for the remainder of the period, and neither was able to capitalize on their scoring chances, with Storm senior Chloe Lemke turning aside all nine shots she faced and freshman Greta Woelber stopping all nine of her own for the Canes.
The Canes nearly opened the scoring on the first shift of the second period with a bad angle shot off the leg pad of Lemke, but she managed to fall on it before it went in the net. On the ensuing faceoff, the Canes won the draw back but Samantha Federici charged back poked the puck past the waiting defender to get a break away and open the scoring just 24 seconds into the second period.
Dru Sabatke added the second goal just a minute and five seconds later for the Storm, and Wicklund got a pass coming out of the penalty box for a breakaway goal to make it 3-0 Storm just 5:15 into the second period. Freshman Taylor Freidel added the Storm's fourth goal at the 7:55 mark.
When all was said and done, the Storm outshot the Canes 23-7 in the second period.
"It was definitely a learning curve for everyone," said Hurricanes coach Emily Stark. "We are a young team (10 freshmen) and so a lot of them are experience their first varsity game and the pace of the game is a lot quicker than they though especially with how aggressive CW Storm [played]."
The Storm added their final goal, on another Federici breakaway, this time just 18 seconds into the third period.
The Canes broke the shutout with just 2:43 left on the clock. Riley Sprenger scored off a faceoff to finally crack Lemke.
"We had the spread and strength to keep up with them but didn’t utilize it during the game. I think we are solid in our defensive zone, even though the score board made it seem differently," Stark said. "We gave up a lot of odd man rushes and break aways from the offensive zone which is something we can learn and grow from. We took a lot of of our own shots from the perimeter instead of trying to create better opportunities in the middle."
Lemke stopped 25 of 26 shots in the win, and Woelber stopped 39 of 44 in the loss.
"Greta is handling the pressure as good as we could ask her to. She focuses on that and enters into a game and it shows," Stark said. "The way she is able to recollect herself after a goal or a shot to the head is impeccable. A couple of those goals she gave up were hard being odd man rushes or breakaways and how she handles those situations is only get better from here and gaining more experience between the pipes."
The Storm will take on the University School of Milwaukee co-op in the championship game, and the Hurricanes will face the Eau Claire Area Stars in the third place game. Both games are on Saturday.