The Mound Westonka boys high school hockey team drew Orono in the first round of section play Thursday, February 23 at Parade Ice Gardens. The teams played five days earlier skating to a 3-3 tie ending conference play.
The student sections for both schools were boisterous from the drop of the puck creating a fun playoff atmosphere in the arena. The first seven minutes of the game was defensive, with neither team wanting to give up the first goal. At 9.19 Charlie Curti caught the Spartans on a line change and skated the puck down the left boards. The junior found Alex Bakke skating down the far side of the slot and Bakke put the White Hawks up by one. It didn’t take long for Orono to retaliate. With Mound Westonka shorthanded from a tripping penalty, the Spartans scored off a screen shot from the point at 11.00 of the 1st. Bakke scored his second of the game late in the period at 15.27 breaking to the Orono net from the same spot he scored the opening goal from. Sophomore Hunter Smith sent a pass from the ½ board with the second assist to Curti. David Engel looked crisp in goal with nine saves in the opening frame and at the end of one the White Hawks led 2-1.
Orono tried to dig themselves a hole with a five minute major for checking from behind 5 minutes into the 2nd. Mound Westonka threw everything but the kitchen sink at the Spartan goal but could not convert on the power play. The White Hawks extended the lead at 12.48 when David Bingham scored off a Curti shot from the left point and a couple of whacks at the puck in the Orono crease area with the second assist to linemate Bakke. Mound Westonka dominated the period outshooting Orono 12-3 for a 3-1 lead headed into the 3rd.
The White Hawks started the 3rd period on the power play when Orono was called for a trip at the end of the 2nd and once again, the Mound Westonka power play did not score. With Orono pressing for a goal in the middle of the period, Jack Brandstetter gained the Spartan zone into the right corner. Brandstetter found Bingham trailing high in the zone, the senior launched a hard slap shot and the Orono goaltender couldn’t handle the glove save for a 4-1 White Hawk lead at 8.59 of the 3rd. Mound Westonka senior Alex Bakke also assisted on Bingham’s second goal of the game with Bakke recording two goals and two assists on the evening. At 12.33 of the 3rd the White Hawks were called for slashing and at 13.40 Orono pulled the goalie for a two man advantage. The Spartans did not score and as the penalty expired Charlie Curti and Ben O’Borsky assisted on an open net Tanner Palm goal. Curti’s assist was his fourth of the game. Mound Westonka played solid defensive zone hockey outshooting Orono 39-23 in the game and David Engel limited the Spartans second chances all night long. The White Hawks earned a 5-1 victory against their rivals and face #1 seeded Breck Tuesday, February 28 in the second round of the playoffs.
connect??ih?o?p3eaking 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.
Tag(s): Mound Westonka