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Regular Season Ends with Two Conference Wins

By Laker Correspondent, 02/22/12, 1:00PM CST


 The Mound Westonka boys high school hockey team ended conference play with a win and a tie the week of Feb. 13 against Waconia and Orono

Tuesday, February 14 the White Hawks faced off with the Wildcats in Waconia. It was senior night for the home team and they came out of the gate fast playing with emotion and determination for the first few minutes of the game. Once things settled down the White Hawks skill took over and at 4.01 Mitch Spanjers buried a rebound off the far post after Will Griffith skated the puck in from the right point with the additional assist to Alex Bakke.  Junior Jeremy Schulz tallied at 6.37 with the assists to line mates Ben O’Borsky and Tanner Palm on a feed from behind the Waconia net. The White Hawks extended the lead to three at 12.30 when Blake Brady scored in tight off a pass from the corner assisted by Kyle Luehmann and Adam Sjoquist.  The White Hawks had more scoring opportunities than Waconia and took advantage leading 3-0 at the end of one.

Mound Westonka had a chance to extend the lead at 4.37 of the 2nd when the Wildcats took a 5 minute major for checking from behind. A short time later during the White Hawk power play, the Wildcats were whistled for interference creating a rare 5 on 3 power play for 1.30 seconds. Our boys could not find the back of the net and Waconia was able to kill both penalties. Late in the period momentum swung to the home team with most of the play in the White Hawk zone for the last seven minutes of the 2nd.

 The Wildcats took it to our boys in the 3rd scoring at 7.46 splitting the defenseman with a high shot over Andy Seats shoulder and again at 13.53 off a screen shot that floated into the Mound Westonka goal. Things got a little tense toward the end of the 3rd when the White Hawks took a penalty late at 14.54 with 2.06 left in the game. Waconia pulled the goalie with a minute left only to have Alex Bakke score on the open net. The White Hawks escaped with a nail biting 4-2 victory.

Saturday, February 18 the Orono Spartans came to Thaler arena to wrap up regular season play. The game was a rematch of a thrilling 3-2 Mound Westonka victory in late January. The Spartans scored first at 2.57 of the 1st  skating the puck the length of the ice down the left boards around the defenseman then stuffing one in tight on the near pipe.  Adam Sjoquist tied the score at one at 11.48 after Mitch Spanjers created a turn over off a forecheck with Sjoquist finding a loose puck in the crease. Orono took the lead late in the 1st at 16.20 off a 2 on 1 break. The White Hawks outshot the Spartans 14-7 in the 1st but were down 2-1 on the scoreboard.

Early in the 2nd at .36 Alex Bakke evened the score at 2 when David Bingham dug the puck from behind the Orono goal, passed to Jack Brandstetter in the corner and the junior connected with Bakke breaking down the slot. The Spartans regained the lead at 5.54 after a White Hawk turnover created a loose puck five feet in front of net minder David Engel.  The White Hawks Jeremy Schulz tied the game yet again at 8.43 off  a nifty feed from Tanner Palm on a 2 on 1 Mound Westonka break. At the end of the 2nd the score was knotted up at three.

At 7.30 of the 3rd the Spartans missed a chance to take the lead bouncing one off the cross bar after a blue line turn over by the White Hawks sent an Orono skater in all alone on David Engel.  There was no scoring in the period forcing an 8 minute overtime. Most of the 3rd period and the OT session was intense, up and down the ice hockey and the standing room crowd was treated to a classic end of the season high school hockey game. With the White Hawks needing a win for a share of the Wright County Conference title, coach Runke pulled the goalie with 25 seconds left in OT.   The Spartans scrambled to keep our boys from scoring and the game ended tied 3-3.

Mound Westonka ended the season with a 15-8-1 record, second in the conference. The junior varsity had an impressive 18-5-1 record. The White Hawks and Orono have some unfinished business as they will be meeting for a third time this year in the first round of section play on Thursday, February 23 at the Parade Ice Garden.