skip navigation

Chippewa Falls Scores Three in the Second Period to Beat SPASH 4-0

By Matt Carey, Contributor, 02/25/24, 6:45AM CST


In the last sectional final of the 2024 WIAA Boys Hockey playoffs, the state’s top two ranked teams in D-1, Chippewa Falls and SPASH, faced off at 4pm in Hudson at a jam packed and boisterous Karen Drewiske Memorial Arena.

With the faithful from Chippewa Falls filling two-thirds of the arena, today’s sectional final is a rematch of the December 21, 2023, game held in Chippewa Falls where SPASH skated off with a 5-3 road victory. Chippewa Falls has been champing at the bit for redemption. SPASH is looking to prove the December road victory was no fluke.

In the first period neither team had many chances until about four minutes into the game SPASH’s Jackson Schroeder missed an opportunity when he was unable to connect on a pass in front of Chippewa’s goalie, Mick Marlow. Thirty seconds later Chippewa’s Ethan Foiles snapped a hard shot that hit the post.

Not many more scoring chances developed after that until a Chippewa penalty a little over halfway through the first. Chippewa’s pillar on D, Gus Thorp, went to the penalty box for cross checking. SPASH was unable to get a puck past Mick Marlow while Thorp was in the box. Next up was Chippewa’s turn on the power play.

With 2:42 on the clock, SPASH’s Tyler Bialas went to the penalty box. Chippewa capitalized on the man advantage when sophomore sensation Evan Foiles scored with 2:07 remaining in the first period with assists from Gus Thorp and Mason Johnson. The evenly matched first period ended with Chippewa Falls up 1-0.

The second period was a three-goal frenzy by Chippewa Falls. Chippewa won the opening faceoff and entered the SPASH zone. With the puck deep, Jackson Hoem and Mason Johnson provided a clinic for youth hockey players regarding how to properly pass a puck. With assists from Johnson and Hoem, Gus Thorp scored 31 seconds into the period with a rocket shot from the blueline that looked like it was propelled by jet fuel. Gus Thorp’s goal increased Chippewa’s lead to 2-0 and created a seismic shift of momentum for the Cardinals.

With a stellar pass from Drew Bowe, Mason Johnson used his finishers touch and sniped a shot with 10:34 remaining in the second period. Johnson’s goal gave Chippewa a three-goal lead. As the second period was winding down to its final seconds, Mason Johnson found the back of the net again. Johnson scored with a blast from an off angle shot with an assist from Jackson Hoem. With Johnson’s second goal, Chippewa extended the lead to four goals with 4.4 seconds remaining in the second period.

Despite starting the third period in a deep hole with a four-goal deficit, SPASH had several power plays to give Panthers fans some hope. However, in the SPASH Panthers way was The Great Wall of Marlow. Chippewa’s goalie, Mick Marlow, stood tall and never allowed a puck to enter his net.

With a 4-0 victory and a WIAA Section One championship trophy in hand, Chippewa advances to the WIAA D-1 State Tournament. Chippewa Falls should be the #1 seed and likely plays a 10am game Friday, March 1 vs. Brookfield.

After the game, the three captains of Chippewa Falls shared their thoughts regarding winning the sectional.

“We have a good group of seniors and leaders. Hopefully we can get it done at state.” Gus Thorp.

It’s a great feeling and we need to keep it rolling at state.” Jackson Hoem

“It feels unreal. I am grateful to be a part of it.” Mason Johnson

WiPH Game Summaries