The University School co-op girls’ hockey team was able to enjoy some holiday cheer after a tough Eastern Shores Conference game against the Lakeshore Lightning. Karly Lamoreaux scored two goals to help the Wildcats defeated their nearby rival, 3-1 in an afternoon game played Saturday, December 22nd at the Ozaukee Ice Arena in Cedarburg.
“Well, we found a way to get win despite a strong effort from the Lightning,” said Dan Carey, the Wildcats’ head coach. “Their goalie played very well, but we did a nice job keeping the pressure on them. We will need to bring more energy as we go into the tournament in Minnesota after Christmas."
The Lightning’s goalie, Kami McCardle, frustrated the Wildcats by stopping 33 of the 36 shots the visitors fired her way. USM’s goaltender, Sami Stommel had an easier time of it. Stommel made 12 saves during the course of events at the rink.
Lakeshore held the lead for a while in the first period. Kate Golden picked off a Wildcats’ pass near the Lakeshore blue line and dashed out of the zone. In center ice, she sent a pass ahead to Anna Gotarski who was racing down the right side. As she entered the Wildcats’ zone, Gotarski cut to left then pulled the puck around a defender. She moved in all alone and at 10:44 she launched a successful shot.
The Wildcats responded late in the period. As they forechecked fiercely, Hannah Neudorfer got the puck in the left corner and banked a pass off the boards to Jenna Klenz at the point. The defenseman skated in to the top of the circle, and released a high wrist shot. Lamoreaux was skating through the slot as the puck approached. She tipped it up where you hang your stocking and past McCardle at 14:33.
Lamoreaux described the tying goal, “There were a ton of shots on goal, and in front of the net it was really messy. Jenna shot from the blue line high, and it hit the shaft of my stick and went top corner.”
The Wildcats score the eventual game winner early in the second period while shorthanded. The penalty killers staved off the Lightning’s power play pressure. Near the end of the penalty they were able to ice the puck. As her tired teammates changed, Jordan Bonk took off after the puck. McCardle stopped it and passed it around the boards to a defenseman on the left side. Bonk beat the defender to it, turned, and skated toward the left corner with it. From the bottom of the circle she took a shot. McCardle stopped it, but Bonk kept going. She whirled out front, snared the puck, moved past McCardle, and slammed a shot into the open side of the net. Time of the goal: 5:11 of the second period.
The action stayed intense. Although the Wildcats outshot the Lightning 14-2 in the third period, the outcome of the game was still very much in doubt until late in the frame.
The Wildcats added coal to the Lightning’s hockey stockings at 10:56 when Natalie Epperson got the puck along the right boards in the Wildcats’ zone and chipped it out to Lamoreaux. Lamoreaux took off on a two-on-one with Lexie Epperson. As she neared the top of the right circle in the Lakeshore end, Lamoreaux shot the puck.
Lamoreaux said, “I had the puck wide and I shot far pad. The puck didn’t bounce off the goalie’s pad, so I went to get my rebound, and it slowly went in.”
The Lightning kept fighting. They pulled McCardle with about two minutes left. But they then took a penalty, then another and, consequently were unable to mount a worthwhile attempt to tie the score. The Wildcats returned the short distance home with a victory that they fought hard to achieve.
After the game, Lamoreaux spoke about how her efforts paid off, “I had a different mindset this game because I felt I wasn’t working to my full potential, and I felt like I should.”
Lakeshore is now 5-5-0 and 1-4 in the Eastern Shores Conference. The Lightning head to the northwoods to play the Northern Edge in the first round of the Hodagland Holiday Tournament. The non-conference game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 27th at the Rhinelander Ice Arena.
USM is 7-3 and 2-1 in the Eastern Shores Conference. The Wildcats also travel north for their next set of games. They are going to Minnesota to compete in the Open American Division of the annual Schwan’s Cup Tournament. They begin tournament action by playing Marshall High School of Marshall, Minnesota in a non-conference game at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 26th at the Schwan Super Rinks in Blaine, Minnesota.