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Wildcat girls close regular season with 4-1 win

02/11/2019, 12:00am CST
By Tom Geilfuss, USM Assistant Coach

Zoe Neudorfer scores twice in victory over Brookfield

The University School co-op girls’ hockey team set a goal for the final weekend of the regular season.  The Wildcats decided to win their final two games in a convincing fashion.  The team accomplished the first half of that goal on Friday by defeating Onalaska 4-1. Their second success arrived on Saturday when they defeated the Brookfield Glacier by the same 4-1 score in a non-conference game on February 9th at the Ponds in Brookfield.

USM’s head coach, Dan Carey, said, “Congratulations to the girls on closing out the regular season with two nice wins.  It was great to see contributions across the board.  The girls are playing well and should know they can compete against anyone when they work hard.”

The Wildcats limited the Glacier’s shots increasingly throughout the game, conceding three shots in the first period, five shots in the second period, and just one shot in the third period.  The USM goaltender, Sami Stommel, stopped 8 of the 9 shots the Glacier players managed to get on net.

Meanwhile the Wildcats accomplished another goal, getting pucks to the net.  They fired the puck 44 times at Kristin Woodcock, the Glacier’s goalie.  They scored three of their goals in the opening period and one in the second.   Zoe Neudorfer scored two of the Wildcats’ goals while Karly Lamoreaux and Jenna Klenz were credited with one goal each.

It did not take long for the Wildcats to get their scoring started.  They tallied their first goal just 3:57 into the game.  From the Wildcats’ zone, Libby Hennelly sent a long cross-ice stretch pass to Hannah Neudorfer as Neudorfer sped along the left boards in center ice.  Neudorfer skated the puck deep into the Glaciers’ left corner.  A defenseman knocked the puck from her stick, but Neudorfer spun and recovered the puck.  She passed it into the slot to Klenz who was racing toward the net.  Klenz fired a shot, then she and Kinzie Youngblood converged on the crease, swiping at the rebound.  The puck hit a defender’s skate and slipped under Woodcock for the goal.

The Wildcats moved further ahead less than five minutes later. As the Wildcats forechecked, Michaela Fritz won a battle for the puck in the right corner.  She skated toward the net, spotting Zoe Neudorfer in the slot.  Fritz passed it.  Neudorfer one-timed it, and the Wildcats gained another goal at 8:24.

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The Glacier narrowed the Wildcats’ lead at 11:20, when Zoe Sternberg sent a pass to Hadley Malcomson, who skated down the slot in the USM zone and fired a five-hole shot past Stommel.

In the final minute of the period, the Wildcats struck again.  Fritz angled a defenseman off the puck along the left boards in the Glacier zone knocking the puck off the defender’s stick.  Zoe Neudorfer swooped in, snared the puck and headed toward the net.  As she crossed into the low slot, she deftly deposited a backhanded a shot past Woodcock, giving USM a 3-1 lead with just 43 seconds left in the period.

The Wildcats continued to pressure the Glacier in the second period.  As a consequence, they received a power play opportunity late in the period.  They set up in the Glacier zone and passed the puck around.  Eventually, it went to Hennelly at the blue line and she passed it to Lamoreaux, who gratefully accepted the pass by one-timing a shot past Woodcock at 15:01.

There was no scoring in the final period, and the Wildcats wound up with their weekend goals achieved.

USM ended the regular season with a record of 16-8. The Wildcats play Arrowhead in a regional final of Sectional 4 in the WIAA state tournament at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 15th at USM.

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