Wildfire close in on WCC title

The Holy Family/Waconia girls’ hockey team’s regular season wraps up this weekend, and the Wildfire are within the reaches of a conference title.

With a 6-1-0 conference record, the Wildfire are currently second behind Orono (7-1-0). Fortunately for the Wildfire, the Spartans have no more conference games, while the Wildfire have one: Saturday at Mound-Westonka.

A win on Saturday means a share of the WCC title for Holy Family/Waconia.

In action last week, the Wildfire defeated River Lakes but also fell to section rival Chaska/Chanhassen.

Wildfire 3, River Lakes 1

Traveling to Paynesville to face River Lakes on Jan. 22, the Wildfire picked up goals in each period while shutting down River Lakes. In the first period, junior Sarah Rosland found the back of the net on an assist from freshman Megan Menzuber. Two second-period goals for the Wildfire came from junior Brityn Ryshavy (assisted by Menzuber and eighth grader Ashlyn Rakos) and sophomore Abby Hanscom (assisted by Ryshavy and Rakos).

River Lakes scored once in the third period, but ran out of time to start a rally. River Lakes did outshoot the Wildfire 33-25, but great goal-tending by Wildfire freshman Lexi Hartmann prevented more than one goal.

Wildfire head coach Ryan Rice said the game was solid, despite missing senior Jaci Reinke and junior Shania Gonzales on defense, both of whom missed the game due to injury.

Chaska/Chan 7, Wildfire 4

In a preview of Section 2AA action, the Wildfire were on the road Jan. 25 to face Chaska/Chanhassen.

Rice said the Wildfire came out “a little nervous,” allowing the Storm Hawks an early goal, just 25 seconds into the game.

After that, it was back and forth play between the teams. Reinke, back from injury, scored at 8:28 in the first period, and would net an additional goal in the third. Gonzales and Hanscom also scored for the Wildfire.

Rice said the team played well, but had too many turnovers which resulting in Storm Hawk goals. Storm Hawk junior Kaitlin Storo was practically unstoppable on the ice, netting five of the Storm Hawks’ seven goals, three while the Storm Hawks were short-handed.

“We definitely had our opportunities to take control of the game, but managed to let them slip away,” Rice said. “Storo had five goals. She is a very good player and if you’re not disciplined, she will make you pay.”

“To take away something positive from the game is the fact that we know we can play with them,” he said.

Section play begins Feb. 8 and seeding will be announced early next week.


Contact Melissa Marohl at [email protected]