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Storm rains on Union parade with 6-3 win

By Michael Trzinski, Executive Editor, 02/25/18, 12:45PM CST


Central Wisconsin to make 11th consecutive state trip

The Central Wisconsin Storm scored twice in the final period to earn a 6-3 win over the Wisconsin Valley Union Saturday afternoon in girls Sectional 2 final play at Greenheck Fieldhouse.

Five of the nine total goals were tallied on power plays.

WVU got on the board first with a shot that deflected off a player and into the net out of the reach of CWS goalie Chloe Westberg. Cadie Ash scored the goal, with older sister Markie providing assistance on the man advantage goal with just under four minutes left in the stanza.

Then it was the Storm's turn two minutes later while on the power play. On a 2-on-2 rush, Eden Gruber took a pass from elder sibling Erin and put it past WVU goalie Pistol Cowden. Kassidy Oliva also earned a helper on the play.

The period ended with the score knotted at one, and shots nearly even with Union holding a slim 6-5 edge.

The second period was a goalie's nightmare as five total goals were scored, three of them on power plays.

It looked good for WVU early on, as Cowden stoned Oliva two minutes in to get the Union bench and fans fired up.

But once again came a penalty and CWS skated 5-on-4. Trinity Foster scored on a re-direct of a shot from the top of the right circle to give the Storm a 2-1 lead. The goal came at the 6:00 mark, with Eden Gruber and Madi Ungerer getting assists.

Forty seconds later, Union tied the game on an alert play by Markie Ash. She grabbed a loose puck behind the net and seeing that Westberg was on the other post, slid a shot that got kicked in by the right skate of the goalie as she slid back to her right in an effort to negate the attempt.

Then came another WVU penalty, and another CWS goal.

Just over a minute after the previous score, Eden Gruber knocked home a rebound to put the Storm up 3-2. Kiley Hahner and Erin Gruber had assists on the play.

WiPH Game Summaries

Moments later, Oliva would not be denied as she took off in front of her defenders on a breakaway. As she got to the goalie, she made a deke and then cut sharply left, sneaking the puck past a sliding Cowden to give the Storm a two-goal lead. 

It looked like the Storm would skate off with that lead, but a penalty in the last minute of play cost them.

Alayna Bruneau scored from close-in, assisted by the Ash sisters, to cut the margin to 4-3 with just eight seconds left. In the period, Cowden was busy with 12 saves, while Westberg stopped nine shots on her end.

The third period went back-and-forth for the first 13 or so minutes and things looked promising for the Union when Cowden stopped a 3-on-1 effort with four minutes left.

But then Foster scored less than 30 seconds later thru traffic to make the score 5-3. Eden Gruber got an assist for her fourth point of the game.

Down two scores, WVU coach Dan Bauer pulled Cowden with just over two minutes left for another attacker, but that strategy failed when Macy Stepan put the puck in the vacated goal to make it 6-3 with a minute left.

Westberg stopped four shots in the period for a game total of 16, while Cowden had five saves, ending with 21 on the day.

WVU finished their fine season with a mark of 17-7-2.

The Storm will defend last year's title, moving to play Eau Claire Area in the first game on Semifinal Friday at the Clamshell. CWS improved to 19-8.