Update 2/22/13: The Wildcats defeat St. Louis Park 4-0 on Feb. 20. They will play the No. 1 seeded Breck Mustangs tonight, Feb. 22 at the Parade Ice Garden, beginning at 8 p.m.
The Waconia boys’ hockey team finished the regular season with two losses last week against conference rivals No. 19 (1A) Orono and No. 17 (1A) Mound-Westonka. The Wildcats sit at 8-15-2 on the season.
Orono 3, Waconia 2
Hosting No. 19 (1A) Orono on Feb. 12, the first period ended scoreless, despite both teams having multiple shots on goal.
The scoreboard lit up in the second period. At 2:32 and 4:24, respectively, the Spartans quickly netted two goals to take a 2-0 lead. At 5:45 senior Justin Reinke found the back of the Orono net on an assist from senior Tanner Riebel.
Orono scored again at 7:24, before a power play goal by Riebel at 8:12 would set the game at 3-2. Senior captain Ryan Mattson and junior Alex Tasson assisted Riebel’s goal.
The third period again was a scoreless battle between the teams and Orono won the game 3-2.
The Spartans had 47 shots on goal to Waconia’s 34. Senior goalie Nathan Kovach saved 44 shots for a .936 save percentage.
Mound-Westonka 8, Waconia 4
At Mound-Westonka on Feb. 15, the White Hawks quickly jumped out to a 3-0 lead after scoring three times in the first seven minutes.
Reinke scored the ‘Cats first goal at 7;15, assisted by junior Blaine Wilsey. A fourth White Hawk goal separated Reinke’s from Riebel’s. Riebel scored in the closing minutes of the period at 15:49.
Mound put up two more goals in the first half of the second period, before Wilsey capitalized on a power play, scoring at 13:06. Junior Jeff Balow and senior captain Ben Kullman assisted. Mattson scored the Wildcats’ final goal at 16:37 in the second, assisted by Riebel.
The White Hawks sealed the game with two goals in the third period, and throughout the game outshot Waconia 43-26. Kovach saved 35 shots on goal for a .814 save percentage, compared to Mound-Westonka’s Andy Seats, who was 22-26 (.846).
Waconia head coach Dan Benham said the Wildcats continue to show glimpses of good hockey in all phases of the game.
“I think we are starting to connect better on the offensive end of the ice, which is nice to see as we are heading into the postseason.”
The Wildcats have been seeded No. 8 in Section 2A. They faced No. 9 St. Louis Park on Feb. 20. The last time the two teams met, Waconia won 4-2 on Dec. 1. Results of the Feb. 20 contest were not available when this issue went to press, but the winner is slated to face No. 1 Breck on Feb. 22 at the Parade Ice Garden, beginning at 8 p.m. Other Section 2A teams include No. 2 Mound-Westonka, No. 3 Delano, No. 4 Orono, No. 5 Providence Academy, No. 6 Chaska, No. 7 Blake, No. 10 Minnehaha Academy, and No. 11 Richfield.
Contact Melissa Marohl at email@example.com