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New Year Opens with a Split

By Laker Correspondent, 01/11/12, 1:00PM CST


 The New Year started off with a bang for the MWHS boys hockey team with games against Litchfield and Delano the week of Jan. 1

Tuesday, Jan 3 the boys headed to Litchfield for a Wright County Conference (WCC) matchup with the Dragons.  The result was a convincing 14-3 win by the White Hawks.  Litchfield opened the scoring early at 1.55 on a tip in front the MW goal on a shot from the ½ board surprising Junior goaltender Andy Seats.  A short time later at 3.44 Adam Sjoquist tied the game when he gathered a loose puck in the high slot with a shot on the ice with the assist to Ben Oborsky. At 9.21 Jack Brandstetter skated over the Dragon blue line, down the boards and around the Dragon defender beating the goalie with a backhand on the far side of the crease off a Hunter Smith pass in the neutral zone.  Litchfield managed only 2 shots on goal in the last 15 minutes of the 1st period.

Hunter Smith extended the lead, poking in a loose puck off a Blake Brandstetter shot at 4.53. Smith, the White Hawks leading scorer, added another goal breaking in all alone at 5.11. The Dragons tightened things up a bit with a power play goal at 7.30. Then MW took control with goals from co-captains, Riley Williams and Will Griffith at 7.33 and 11.05. Charlie Curti, Tanner Palm and Alex Bakke also scored for 7 White Hawk goals in the period. At the end of two, Mound-Westonka held a 9-2 lead.

The goal fest continued in the 3rd for the White Hawks with David Bingham connecting at 2.24 and 7.10 with high snap shots from the circles, one on each side of the Dragon goaltender. Williams and Bakke each scored their second goals of the game. Litchfield did manage one goal at 12.30 after a defensive miscue by the White Hawks. Tanner Palm scored his second on the night late at 15.30. MW pummeled the Dragon netminders with 58 shots on goal for the lopsided victory.

On Thursday, Jan 5 the Delano Tigers paid a visit for a battle between two top-twenty ranked teams. The Tigers got on the board first at 6.52 of the opening period after a pass from the corner came loose after a White Hawk defenseman tipped one off his own post allowing an easy rebound in the crease. Delano scored again at 8.31 after a Mound-Westonka neutral zone turnover with both goals coming from Tiger senior Jack Prinsen. The opening period ended with Delano leading 2-0

White Hawk Jack Brandstetter tallied at 3.24 when Riley Williams won a faceoff in the offensive zone feeding the puck low to Hunter Smith behind the goal. Smith passed the puck out front on the far side of the net to an open Brandstetter. Just 24 seconds later, MW senior goaltender David Engel stopped Prinsen on a breakaway. The save was one of two on Tiger breakaways in the period. Unfortunately, this was not the White Hawks night. Delano scored on the power play at 5.29 ending the 2nd with a 2 goal lead.

The Tigers added a second power play goal 2.19 into the final period with some nice cycling in the MW zone. Delano’s power play has had great success this year scoring 37% of the time with a man advantage. Hunter Smith drew MW closer at 3.40 with a shot off the cross bar beating the Tiger goalie with the assist to Riley Williams. The Tigers tried hard to let the White Hawks back in the game with minor penalties at 5.55, 8.37 and 12.02 but MW could not convert on the power play. Delano added an open net goal late and our boys fell 5-2 in spite of 38 shots on goal against the Tigers with the special teams play proving to be the difference in the game.

Next up for the White Hawks, two home games against Hutchinson on Tuesday, January 17 and a special Senior Night matchup Friday, January 20 vs Waconia.