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Linehan and River Falls Defense Shut Down Mustangs

By Bill Berg, WiPH Staff, 02/25/24, 9:30AM CST


Luke Linehan has had some big moments this season, including a 39 save shutout against Eau Claire Memorial, but none bigger than the 2-0 shutout of the Menomonie Mustangs on Saturday in Somerset to send the Wildcats to Madison for their first state tournament appearance since 1997.

Linehan and his counterpart for the Mustangs, Jack Drout, were each stout in the first period, Linehan stopping all 15 shots he saw in the frame, and Drout blocking all 6 that the wildcats put on him.

The defense and goaltending continued to dominate in the second period until defenseman Jaxon Flanagan sent a missile into the top corner from the left face-off circle with just 17 seconds left on the clock.

The Wildcats out-shot the Mustangs in the second period 12-6, with the help of some extended power play time.

Wyatt Hoepfl gave River Falls some breathing room – or the worst lead to have in a hockey game – with a laser from the left face-off dot with eleven minutes left in the third period to put the Wildcats up 2-0.

From there, River Falls tightened up the defense and kept the Mustangs off the board to earn a trip to Madison.

WiPH Game Summaries