Wildcats win 3-1 over New Ulm
The Waconia boys’ hockey team dropped two conference games last week, but also came away with a win over New Ulm. The Wildcats are now 8-13-2, as the regular season wraps up Friday, Feb. 15 at Mound-Westonka.
L/D-C 6, Waconia 4
On the road at Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato Feb. 5, the Wildcats jumped up to an early two goal lead, only to let the Dragons take over in the second period.
Senior Ryan Mattson put the first goal in the net at 4:36 in the first period, assisted by senior Justin Reinke and sophomore Cal Rassman. Junior Alex Fortwengler scored at 10:19 to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead. Seniors Kyle Kauma and Nick Henninger assisted Fortwengler’s goal.
The Dragons scored on a power play at 13:47 to bring the game within one. They tied the game six minutes into the second period before Rassman put Waconia back up 3-2 at 8:33.
Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato scored twice more, at 13:25 and 15:25 (short-handed) respectively, to lead 4-3 after two periods of play.
After the Dragons scored at 9:19 in the third, Fortwengler scored his second goal of the game at 14:47. To finish the ‘Cats, the Dragons scored an empty net goal at 15:16 for the 6-4 win.
Waconia outshot the Dragons 45-38. Senior Nathan Kovach save 32 shots for a .865 save percentage, compared to L/D-C’s Braeden Wahl with 41 saves for a .911 save percentage.
“We had a good period and a half of hockey then got away from our game plan,” WHS head coach Dan Benham said. “Litch did a good job of locking down the middle of the ice.”
Waconia 3, New Ulm 1
Hosting the Eagles of New Ulm on Feb. 7, the Wildcats played a good game with many scoring opportunities, according to Benham.
“I thought we controlled the flow of the game which allowed us to dictate play and keep the puck off the boards,” he said.
Senior Ben Kullman was first on the scoreboard, scoring on a power play at 12:00 in the first period. Junior Blaine Wilsey assisted Kullman’s goal.
Mattson scored at 4:18, assisted by Reinke, only to be answered by New Ulm at 6:58 on a power play.
Fortwengler locked the game away at 7:12 in the third, scoring on an assist from junior Sam Schiffman.
Benham said the team’s only downfall was taking too many penalty minutes. The Wildcats spent 19 minutes in the penalty box to New Ulm’s 10.
New Ulm outshot Waconia 47-31, but excellent goal tending by Kovach won the game. He saved 46 shots for a .979 save percentage.
H. Family 9, Waconia 4
It was a high-tempo contest on Feb. 9 at Holy Family, as the Wildcats fell 9-4. Benham said the team grabbed momentum in the first period after killing a major penalty, but neither team played strong defensively in the second period.
Holy Family scored 29 seconds into the game, answered by a short-handed goal from Mattson, off an assist from sophomore Collin Reus.
Wilsey score at 1:04 in the second period, assisted by Riebel, before the Fire tied the game at 2-2. Reinke’s goal at 4:17 (assisted by Wilsey and Riebel) put the Wildcats up 3-2 before a string of Fire goals ended the period. Holy Family netted four goals in the last 10 minutes of the second period, and scored another at 2:55 in the third.
Junior Kevin Kittleson scored on a power play at 7:38, assisted by Mattson, but two more Fire goals would shut down the Wildcats for good.
Holy Family outshot Waconia 42-27. Kovach saved 33 shots for a .786 save percentage.
Contact Melissa Marohl at email@example.com