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Hilltoppers Advance to State Behind LaFleur and Hanson

By Del Scanlon, WiPH, 02/25/22, 7:00PM CST


LaFluer Seals Sectional Two Championship

The #3 seed Onalaska Hilltoppers hosted #4 seed Western Wisconsin Stars for the right to represent Sectional 2 at the WIAA State Tournament. The first meeting between these two teams for the season and a road trip to Madison on the line.

The first period showed just how close this game was going to be throughout. The period ended with the game still tied at 0. The Stars' sophomore goalie stopped the nine shots that made it to her in the period. Onalaska's freshman goaltender, Diana Hanson, wasn't going to be outdone and completed 10 saves in the period.

The second period started just as tight as the first period. The Hilltoppers finally broke through at 10:18, when Kiya Bronston made a cross-ice pass from the top of the circle to Anna Szymanski at the other face-off circle. Szymanski one-timed it to Payton Sawyer on the backdoor for the goal. The period concluded with the Hilltoppers clinging to a one goal lead.

Onalaska started the third period on the power play. While Western Wisconsin killed off the penalty, the Hilltoppers continued to keep the pressure in the offensive zone. However, it was a play in the defensive zone by McKenna LaFleur that led to the next goal by Onalaska. LaFleur intercepted a pass just inside the blue line. She took off for the offensive zone and made a move to backhand the puck past Schultz for the goal at 11:07 of the third. Western Wisconsin refused to give up. The Stars' Makenzie Weeks went top shelf to cut the deficit to one with Amanda Magler and Alise Wiehl assisting on the play. LaFleur put the game away for Onalaska with an empty net goal with 53.6 seconds remaining in regulation. Schultz finished the game with 33 saves for Western Wisconsin, while Hanson had 29 saves for Onalaska.

WiPH Game Summaries