The Mound-Westonka Boy’s hockey team began the new calendar year with a couple of short road trips, to Hopkins and Waconia. On Tuesday, January 6, the White Hawks traveled to Hopkins to face the Royals, a team returning a strong senior line-up that went 21-3-1 last season. Hopkins jumped to a quick 2-0 lead with goals just 23 seconds apart early in the first period, and added a short-handed goal midway through the period for a 3-0 lead. But the White Hawks answered with a goal just 7 seconds after the last Hopkins goal, when Riley Horgan took the draw at center ice and pushed it back to Tanner Botts. Botts passed it to Ben Curti on the side, and Curti took it all the way to the net, getting a power play goal with a forehand shot to the near side of the net.
Just 2 minutes into the second period, the White Hawks closed the gap to 3-2 when Riley Horgan picked up a loose puck at center ice and took to it all the way in. The goalie stopped his close-in shot, and a rebound attempt by Ben Curti when the puck was loose in front of the goalie’s pads. But after Curti tried to stuff it in, the puck bounced back to Kirby Horgan on the edge of the net, and he slammed it in. The White Hawks started to take control of the game at that point, and halfway through the period, they tied the score at 3-3, when Matt Pearson, working the point, hit Riley Horgan along the boards. Horgan wove through the defense toward the net, and at the last second slid the puck across the crease to sophomore Dan Hoy, who tapped it in for his first varsity goal. But after they tied the score, the White Hawks took a costly penalty, and Hopkins quickly regained the lead. The Royals added another short-handed goal and a blast from the slot to quickly regain a 3-goal lead at the end of the second period.
In the third, the White Hawks pulled to within 6-4, when Riley Horgan, working with the puck on a White Hawk power play behind the Hopkins net, came around and tried to stuff it in, With the puck loose in front, Ben Curti alertly slid it across to Kirby Horgan, and once again from the corner of the net, he slammed home his second goal of the night. But the White Hawks were plagued by a series of penalties after that, and Hopkins added one more goal, to send the White Hawks back to the bus with a 7-4 loss. In goal, senior Dan Swanson made over 40 saves to keep the White Hawks close in this one.
On Friday, January 9, the White Hawks traveled to Waconia to play the first year team in their new arena. Waconia came out quick, but the White Hawk defense held until there were 5 minutes left in the first period, and the White Hawks went on a power play. Kirby Horgan took control of the puck in the offensive corner, and sent it out to Broc Couser on the point. Couser’s hard shot from the point found the edge of the net for a 1-0 White Hawk lead. The White Hawks took advantage of 2 more Waconia penalties late in the first period and a 5 on 3 advantage, when Colby Kratch, Riley Williams, and Nick Kuehl attacked the net with some passes and tips that slid just wide of the net. But with just 19 seconds left in the period, Kuehl picked up the puck behind the net, circled out to the center slot, and fired a bullet in to the upper corner for a 2-0 first period lead.
Early In the second period, the White Hawks widened their lead to 3-0 when Riley Horgan took the puck from the defensive zone all the way up to the edge of the net, and then passed it back to Riley Williams, who was moving into the center slot and fired a wrist shot to the left side of the net. In the third period, the White Hawks stretched the lead to 4-0 when Ben Curti got the puck to Kirby Horgan in the high slot. When Kirby’s shot was saved, big brother Riley was at the edge of the net to clean up his mess and slap in the rebound. The White Hawks closed out the scoring with 3 minutes left in the game when Riley Horgan took the puck at the blue line, moved around the defense, and sent a pass to brother Kirby breaking in on the right side. At the last second Kirby sent a pass back to Riley on the left edge of the net, and he tapped it in for an easy goal and a 5-0 White Hawk win. In goal, junior Aaron Davis made 18 saves to record his first varsity shut-out.