Kinzie Youngblood score three goals to lead the University School co-op girls’ hockey team to a 4-0 victory Wisconsin Valley Union in The Girls High School Hockey Classic sponsored by Ticket King and the Milwaukee Admirals. The Eastern Shores Conference game was played at USM on Saturday, January 5th.
USM’s freshman goaltender Sami Stommel stopped all 9 shots the Union took on her to record her third shutout of the season.
Meanwhile Stommel’s teammates fired 34 shots at junior Pistol Cowden who tended the net for Wisconsin Valley Union. Youngblood made three of her shots count and gain her hat trick. Senior Karly Lamoreaux also scored a goal for the Wildcats.
Cowden and Stommel kept the score even for most of the first period. There were less than three minutes left in the period when Youngblood finally scored the game’s first goal just as a Union penalty was expiring. The Wildcats’ power play unit was in the Western Valley Union end, moving the puck. Sophomore Jordan Bonk got it along the left boards and was forced to head to the corner by a defender. Youngblood was nearby and skated over and seized the puck. The senior winger wheeled away and skated toward the net. As she approached she fired a wrist shoot that sailed by Cowden for the goal.
Youngblood said, “Scoring our first goal at the end of the first period brought us great momentum into the rest of the game, and the other two I was just there at the right time. It felt good to be able to work as a team and get those points together.”
The Wildcats held on to the precarious one-goal lead for the remainder of the first period and all of the second. They finally solved Cowden in the third period when they added three goals to their total.
Early in the final period the Wildcats were on another power play. Taking a faceoff in Wisconsin Valley Union’s right circle, Bonk won the draw to senior Lexie Epperson who was along the boards. Epperson passed the puck to senior Jenna Klenz at the point as Youngblood moved in front to screen Cowden. Klenz fired a low shot that hit Youngblood’s skate. Youngblood spun like a well-wound top to get it then whizzed a shot into the net, giving the Wildcats a 2-0 lead at 1:11.
The second goal seemed to invigorate the home team. The Wildcats scored again just a few minutes later. As the Wildcats forechecked aggressively, Lamoreaux dug the puck out of the right corner and centered it to Michaela Fritz who took a shot as she skated into the crease. The puck skipped into the left corner. Lamoreaux skated to it, skated into the lower part of the left circle and fired. Her shot sailed inside the near post at 5:00.
Just a few minutes later, Youngblood earned her hat trick. Bonk got the puck along the right boards in center ice. She chipped it past a Wisconsin Valley Union player, caught her self-pass, and headed into the zone on a three-on-one with Youngblood and Gaby Turer. As she moved into the lower right circle, Bonk crossed a pass to Youngblood, who caught it and whipped a shot into the net at 7:41 to secure the Wildcats’ win.
After the game, the Wildcats’ head coach, Dan Carey commented on the victory, “"A lot of good things happened today. We forechecked well, played our systems, and won puck battles. A good team win and nice recovery from Friday's game."
Wisconsin Valley Union is now 4-7-1 and 3-4 in the Eastern Shores Conference. The Union plays St. Croix Valley in a non-conference game at the Marshfield Area Ice Arena at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 8th.
USM is 10-5 and 3-1 in the Eastern Shores Conference. The Wildcats play Arrowhead in an Eastern Shores Conference game at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 8th at the Mullet Ice Arena on the campus of Arrowhead High School in Hartland.