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Team Wisconsin turns corner

By Loren Nelson, MN Hockey Hub editor, 10/19/12, 11:45PM CDT

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Nick Monfils scores three times in resurgent Wisconsin's win over Team Northeast


Nick Monfils, a senior from Oshkosh, scored three times in Team Wisconsin's 5-4 victory over Team Northeast. Photo by Katherine Matthews

Nick Monfils scored a whopping 77 points for Oshkosh last season while cementing himself as one of Wisconsin High School hockey’s most dynamic scoring threats. 

The goals and points haven’t come nearly as frequently this fall.
 
Monfils, a senior playing for Team Wisconsin in the Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League, had just four goals in 19 games entering Saturday night’s game against Team Northwest at Hobbs Ice Center in Eau Claire, Wis.
 
Team Wisconsin, meanwhile, had just one victory.
 
The kid with the dragstrip speed and golden touch materialized on Saturday, scoring three goals in Team Wisconsin’s 5-4 victory.

Team Northeast goaltender Tyler Nelson of Champlin Park watches as Team Wisconsin's Tyler Funk directs the puck into the net. Photo by Katherine Matthews

Don’t look now, but Team Wisconsin, which started the season 0-14-3, has won two of its last three games. Sandwiched between those wins was a respectable 8-5 loss Saturday morning to league juggernaut Shattuck-St. Mary’s. The score was tied at 5-5 late in the third period before the Sabres pulled away.
 
“We stayed together and kept working hard,” Monfils said about surviving a stretch that included 12 straight losses. “The attitude stayed real positive. If we lost a game we were down right away. But then we forgot about it and just went back to work.”
 
Monfils set the foundation for Saturday’s victory with a first-period shorthanded goal to open the scoring. He scored twice more in the third as Team Wisconsin built a 5-2 lead then was forced to hang on for the win.
“He’s a very gifted hockey player,” Team Wisconsin coach Tony Scheid said about Monfils. “He’s very quick and he has great hands.”
 
The attitude is quality, too. Monfils praised his teammates for his success, purposely ducking out of the limelight.
 
“We’re starting to click,” Monfils said. “Working together, moving the puck. It gives me more opportunities when they move the puck and when I move the puck. You can get it and go.”

Statistics, Summary

Game Recap

Senior Nick Monfils of Oskosh scored three goals, one shorthanded and two in the third period, to lead Team Wisconsin past Team Northeast 5-4 on Saturday, Oct. 20, in an Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League game at Hobbs Ice Center in Eau Claire, Wis.

Monfils, one of Wisconsin’s leading scorers last season with 77 points, helped Team Wisconsin take a 5-2 lead with 14:14 left in the third period with his third goal.
 
Team Northeast rallied by scoring the final two goals, the first coming from Jake Wahlin of White Bear Lake with 9:18 left. Colin Hernon of Bloomington Jefferson pulled Team Northeast to within 5-4 by scoring with 5:30 remaining.
 
The victory was the second in three games for Team Wisconsin, which went winless in its first 17 games to start the Elite League season.
 
Jake Kupsky made 29 saves for Team Wisconsin (2-15-3). Tyler Nelson of Champlin Park had 31 saves for Team Northeast (6-13-1).
 
League scoring leader T.J. Moore of Team Northeast, a Benilde-St. Margaret’s senior, managed one assist in his quest for the goal-scoring and points crowns.

Three Stars

1. Nick Monfils, Team Wisconsin
The speedster from Oshkosh nearly matched his season goal total by pumping in three to give him seven in 20 games. He scored shorthanded on a coast-to-coast rush in the first period to open the scoring and added two more in the third as Team Wisconsin built a three-goal lead then hung on for just its second win of the season.

The senior from Green Bay scored a goal, assisted on another and wasn’t afraid to throw his 6-foot-2, 205-pound body around as needed. 
 
The slippery Wahlin, a White Bear Lake sophomore, scored a third-period goal and notched an assist. Wahlin’s motor continued to rev  even when Team Northeast faced a three-goal deficit in the third period.

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Standings

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