The Wisconsin Selects won for the eighth time in their last nine games with a two-game weekend sweep of the Glenview Stars in Waupun. After a dominating 4-0 win, Wisconsin flexed their offense in an 8-4 victory featuring four special teams goals. With five games remaining before the start of the WIAA season, the nationally 8th ranked Selects boast a 13-4 record.
Zowie Hunter wasted no time on Saturday, opening the game with a goal just twenty-three seconds after the drop of the puck. Period two started even faster as Julia Purintun won the opening draw to defenseman Kiera Ballweg who carried down the right wing for a shot and rebound knocked home by a driving Reese Duncan. Wisconsin stretched their lead to 3-0 when Reese Sheehan found Addison Gruhlke in the neutral zone and sent her in for a backhand breakaway goal. Gruhlke hit the back of the net again in the third period to finish the scoring.
It was a complete team effort as Wisconsin controlled the game out-shooting the 20th ranked Stars 32-9. Sydney Magnuson turned in the shutout for Wisconsin.
Glenview re-grouped for game two, but the Selects special teams would prove to be too much in a penalty-filled game. Wisconsin would score three times with the man advantage and once shorthanded in an 8-4 win. Addy Milota put home a rebound from a shot by Ballweg to give Wisconsin a 1-0 lead at 8:52 of the first period. The Stars would tie it on a powerplay goal of their own four minutes later. As the first period ticked down, the Selects would get an extra attacker on a delayed penalty. Hunter pounced on a rebound of an Abby Dhein shot to give Wisconsin a 2-1 lead. Then with 19 seconds remaining Reese Sheehan finished an offensive rush by redirecting a perfect pass from Jillian Stephenson. A wild end to the period found Selects leading 3-1.
Glenview scored early in the second to close the gap to 3-2. Gruhlke continued her strong weekend with a backhand rebound at 4:06 to put the Selects lead back at two. The Eau Claire senior wasn’t finished, taking a great feed from Gabi Heuser to score her third of the day, shorthanded on a breakaway. Wisconsin would take a 5-2 lead into the final period.
The Stars refused to go away quietly, scoring a breakaway goal by Audrey Smith to make it 5-3. Magnuson made several key third period saves to keep it at 5-3. With a 5 on 3 advantage, Milota drove home a backdoor rebound for a 6-3 lead. Less than one minute later Brooke Brennan’s shot from the point found the net through an Addy Milota screen. Defenseman Kayla Dogs assisted on the goal, her third assist of the game. Jillian Stephenson closed the Selects scoring with the third powerplay of the period. Glenview added a late goal for an 8-4 final.
Magnuson, playing both games due to the season ending injury of goalie Makenna Hutchison, turned aside 23 shots for the win. Hutchinson, along with Hayward teammate Savanah Harris are both out due to injuries. Selects finished with 40 shots on goal.
“Injuries are an unfortunate part of all athletics,” lamented head coach Emily Bauer. “Our hearts go out to both of them.”
Traveling to Minneapolis two weeks ago, the Selects sandwiched a pair of wins against the Tier I Winnipeg Lightning around a hard fought 1-0 loss to the Minnesota Ice Cougars. Wisconsin defeated Winnipeg 3-1 and 2-0.
Wisconsin opened the weekend with a Saturday afternoon tilt with Winnipeg. Addy Milota and Zowie Hunter each scored to lead the Selects to a 2-0 victory. Sydney Magnuson turned away 17 shots to earn the shutout for Wisconsin.
The third meeting between the Ice Cougars and the Selects demonstrated the improvement Wisconsin has made in the recent weeks. After losing the first two games by a combined 9-3 score, three weeks ago in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin battled but came up short 1-0. Minnesota held a slim shots-on-goal margin, 26-24. Makenna Hutchison started in net for Wisconsin, but left the game in the second period with a knee injury. Magnuson finished the game in net for Wisconsin.
An eight AM Sunday contest may have caught the Lightning off guard as Wisconsin scored on its first two shots, just twenty-five seconds into the game. After a goalie change, the two teams settled in with Selects grabbing a 10-5 shots-on-goal advantage in the opening period.
The Selects would increase their lead to 3-0, in the second period, when Addison Gruhlke picked off a Lightning pass at the blueline and quickly fired a wrist shot just under the bar. That score remained until a third period Selects penalty with just over six minutes to play. After a Winnipeg timeout, the Lightning pulled their goalie for a six on four advantage and scored on screened shot from the left point. Winnipeg played the remainder of the game with their goalie pulled, but Magnuson stood tall to secure the 3-1 victory. She would finish with 25 saves.
The Selects will head to Sioux Falls, South Dakota this weekend and then finish with a pair of games in Green Bay leading up to the start of the WIAA season on Monday, November 6th.