The Waconia boys’ hockey team kicked off the season during Thanksgiving week with two wins. Hosting Red Wing on Tuesday, Dec. 26, the Wildcats won 7-1 after scoring three goals in the first period, two by junior Cal Rassman and one by senior Blaine Wilsey.
Two second period goals put the ‘Cats up 5-0, thanks to senior Alex Fortwengler (assisted by sophomore Mitchell Weiland) and senior Sam Schiffman (assisted by Rassman).
Red Wing scored at the top of the third to trail 5-1, before the Wildcats packed away the Wingers with a goal from Weiland (assisted by Fortwengler and senior Alex Tasson) and another from junior Joe Benson (assisted by Rassman).
In goal for WHS was senior Steven LaDouceur, who saved 20 of 21 shots for a .952 save percentage. The ‘Cats had 21 shots on goal, and while they may have given up more than they would have liked, head coach Dan Benham was happy with a good first game.
“We had balanced scoring and decent defensive zone coverage,” he said. “We gave up more shots than we would like, but overall it is what we want from the boys.”
The Wildcats continued their winning ways on Friday night by hosting Lake of the Woods, and emerging with a 3-0 shutout. LaDouceur saved all 26 of the Bears’ shots on goal, while the Waconia offense hammered Lake of the Woods with 42 shots.
The first period was scoreless, until junior Matt Fulkerson found the back of the net shorthanded in the second period. While the WHS defense continued to shut down the Bears’ offense, senior Jake Reuben scored in the third period (assisted by Rassman and Fulkerson). Rassman then wrapped up the game for WHS with the team’s third goal.
Benham said the team is working well together and great puck control and movement showed during the Lake of the Woods game.
“LOW did a great job of shutting down the middle, but we continued to be patient and wear them down,” he said. “By the end of the game we were getting stronger and we could see them wearing down.”
The Wildcats begin conference play this weekend by hosting Holy Family on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. Waconia will play at Richfield on Dec. 10, before hosting Robbinsdale Cooper on Dec. 14 in a morning game.
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