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Hudson gets last-minute goal for game-winner over USM girls

By Tom Geilfuss, USM Assistant Coach, 01/06/18, 11:00AM CST


Anna Wilgren scores with 35 seconds left for 3-2 win

It was anybody’s game until the last 35 seconds. Then Senior Anna Wilgren scored a goal to stop the University School co-op’s comeback and lead Hudson to a 3-2 victory at the Ticket King Girls Hockey Classic Invitational held at the UWM Panther Arena in Milwaukee on January 5th.

Talking about her winning goal, Wilgren said, “I was surprised and relieved.  I was afraid too. I did not want the game to go into overtime.  USM had the momentum.”

The goal was Wilgren’s second of the game.  Senior Natalie Miller scored Hudson’s other goal.  Freshman Jordan Bonk and junior Gaby Turer scored the Wildcats’ goals.  Senior goaltender Juliana Strother made 22 saves for the Wildcats and senior Cassie Schultz stopped 15 shots in the Raiders’ net.

The fans who came to the Panther Arena, home of the Milwaukee Admirals professional team, were expecting an exciting hockey game, between Hudson, Wisconsin’s top ranked girls’ hockey team and USM, ranked third in the state.  Those fans were rewarded. The game was close and the action was fast-paced and thrilling throughout.

Hudson took a two-goal lead in the first period.  Wilgren opened the game’s scoring.  She snared a loose puck in the Hudson zone and swung to the middle of the ice. She built up speed as she roared through center ice and crossed into the Wildcats’ zone.  She veered to the left to avoid a defender and drove toward the net.  Nearing the goal line, she lofted an off-angle shot over Strother’s shoulder at 9:28.

The Raiders made it 2-0 with a short-handed goal a few minutes later.  Forechecking while penalty killing, Miller forced a defenseman to lose the puck.  Miller got it and quickly fired a shot into the Wildcats’ net at 12:18.

Between periods the Wildcats re-grouped.  Dan Carey, their head coach, said, “I told the girls they were still in the game.  The first period was not our best, but we were competing.  I told them we could do well if we gave our best effort.”

The Wildcats heeded their coach’s advice.  They increased their efforts and got positive results on the scoreboard.

WiPH Game Summaries

Bonk scored the Wildcats’ first goal of the game at 6:47 of the second period.  Junior Karly Lamoreaux won a faceoff in Hudson’s left corner and swept the puck to the mid-boards to senior Abby Hentzen.  Hentzen raced down the boards and sped behind the net.  As she came out the other side, she zipped a pass to Bonk in the lower right circle.  Bonk quickly shot the puck past Schultz, giving the Wildcats’ new life.

The Wildcats’ tied the score less than three minutes later while they were on a power play.  Taking a faceoff in Hudson’s left circle, senior Megan McPike won the puck back to junior defenseman Michaela Fritz at the point.  Fritz fired a shot. The puck rebounded behind the net.  Junior Lexie Epperson won a battle for it with a Hudson defenseman then snapped a pass to Turer near the left post.  Turer immediately fired the puck past Schultz to tie the game.

The teams continued to battle. Despite a display of excellent hockey, neither team could score again until Wilgren’s last-minute winner.

Knowing time was running out, the Raiders got the puck into the USM zone and forechecked vigorously.  Wilgren stopped an attempted Wildcat clear at the left point, wound up and shot.  The puck made it through several players who were screening Strother and sailed into the net at 16:25 to secure a hard-victory for Hudson.

After the game, senior Hannah Gold, one of USM’s captains, said, “Our first period was alright, not bad, not great. In the second period we really came alive after scoring our first goal. We worked hard ‘til the end. They ended up capitalizing on our mistake in the last minute. Overall, it was a hard fought game; I'm excited to play them again.”

The top-ranked Raiders are now 11-1.  They stay in Milwaukee on Saturday, January 6th to continue their play in the Ticket King Girls Hockey Classic.  They face off against the Lakeshore Lightning at noon in a game at USM.

The tough loss dropped USM’s record to 11-3.   The Wildcats also continue play in the invitational with a game against Wisconsin Valley Union at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 6th at USM.