The USM Wildcats traveled to Onalaska after an overtime win against the Bay Area Ice Bears on Friday evening. The Coulee Region Cyclones returned home after a close 3-1 victory in Somerset against the Western Wisconsin Stars.
The Cyclones were able to open the scoring with a power play goal by McKenna LaFleur with an assist from Ashlyn Praxel at 9:45 off the first period. USM answered at 13:22 when Tatum Cook assisted on Ena Hines power play goal. The end of the first found the game tied at 1. Molly Jex had 8 saves for the Wildcats, while Diana Hanson had 5 saves for the Cyclones.
The second period saw both teams moving the puck, but the Cyclones were peppering Jex with shots. Coulee Region outshot the Wildcats 20-5 in the period. However, the Wildcats converted a second power play goal with 53 seconds left in the period. Helen Bechthold put the puck in with an assist from Eileen Carey. USM led 2-1 at the end of two.
The start of the third period was delayed a little bit in starting as the officials were getting some of the excess water off the ice with a squeegee. Once the game was underway, the Cyclones started applying pressure to tie the game. USM was assessed a penalty at 3:56 of the third. Coulee Region tied the game at 5:15 of the third, when Jaden Hammes took a slap shot from the top of the circle. The shot hit the crossbar and fell in behind Jex. The Cyclones picked up their fifth penalty of the game at 10:24 of the third. Lily Valimont scored the Wildcats' third power play goal at 10:34 of the third with Charlotte Fetherston and London Chase assisting. The Wildcats picked up their fifth penalty at 10:51 of the period. USM was able to kill off the penalty and cling to their one goal lead. The Cyclones pulled their goalie with 1:08 showing on the clock, but just couldn't get the tying goal into the net. USM picked up their fourth 1 goal victory of the season to improve to 4-1 (their one loss was a one goal loss). Coulee Region felt the agony of defeat for the first time this season and have a 3-1 record.
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