Things were a little off key at the very start of the Classic Eight Conference boys’ hockey game between University School and the Kenosha Thunder on Monday, February 4th. The National Anthem would not play through the loud speakers at USM. So, as they stood in line on the blue line, the Wildcats pretended to be the University School Glee Club and sang the Star Spangled Banner themselves a capella.
Once the puck dropped, things went well for the home team. The Wildcats played like a well-tuned unit. Playing in harmony, they scored nine goals in the first period and went on to defeat the Thunder 10-1.
Skating at a fast-paced tempo, the Wildcats orchestrated a goal in the first five minutes of the game. Robby Newton scored the first of his two goals on an assist by Tyler Herzberg at 4:51.
The Wildcats kept the beat up. They scored again less than a minute later when Sterling Cooke finished a play from passes by TJ Fenton and Carson Mogush to make it 2-0 at 5:28.
At 6:27 the score became 3-0. Reid Woods tallied the goal on assists by Blake Carey and Henry Stone.
Peter Ells rang up USM’s 4th goal at 6:59. Alvin Pokel and Tommy Hayden had assists.
Five seconds later, the Wildcats added to the refrain. Fenton fired a shot past Kenosha’s already beleaguered goalie, Joseph Laforge on assists by Cooke and Mogush at 7:04.
The tones of clapping by the fans in the stands for Wildcat success soon filled the rink again. At 7:31, Noah Eghbali converted assists from Ethan Ford and Charlie Keough into USM’s sixth goal of the game.
Less than 30 seconds later, the Wildcats scored again. Herzberg took the shot with assists credited to Newton and Casey Roepke.
The cadence of the Wildcats’ goal scoring slowed slightly after that. They did not tally their eighth goal until 14:28 when Newton notched his second goal with assists going to Jacob Como and Roepke.
The final goal of the first period for the Wildcats came at 15:54 when Eghbali took a pass from Ford and fired the puck into the net.
Knowing that USM had a big game against their old rival Marquette the next night, Jason Woods, waved his head-coaching baton conducting his top lines to rest on the bench and let others join in the ensemble’s fun.
The pace of the game was more monochromatic in the second period, when no goals were scored.
It was like an encore at 10:26 of the third period. Hayden joined the USM goal-scoring chorus with his first varsity goal to make the score 10-0. Ells gave Hayden’s goal-scoring some help with an assist.
Kenosha’s Ryan Cope added a bit of dissonance to the Wildcats’ game, with a solo power play goal at 14:06.
By the game’s finale, the Wildcats had fired 59 shots at LaForge, who stopped 49 of them. It was far quieter at the other end of the ice. Patrick Kelly had to make just 6 saves in the USM net.
After the Wildcats had completed their resounding performance, Woods chimed in, “Good job by the boys to stay focused and get it to running time early. It was great to see Tommy Hayden get his first varsity goal. That was a highlight of the night for sure. Now we need to get ready for Marquette on Tuesday night.”
The victory assured USM first place in the Classic Eight Conference for the season. They are undefeated in conference play with a 6-0 record. The Wildcats, who are 19-2 overall, do have one Classic Eight Conference game to play. It’s a big one. They face off against Marquette at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 5th at USM.