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Winhawks' depth too much for La Crosse

By Heidi Hanse, Winona Daily News, 12/03/10, 9:07AM CST


Winona Senior High School boys hockey coach Fran McDevitt didn't have enough pockets Thursday night.

With Luke Hemker, Ben Svendsen, Jacob Rowe and Cameron Kelly each scoring their first varsity goals, McDevitt had a hard time trying to hold them in Winona's 7-2 nonconference win over La Crosse at Bud King Ice Arena.

"Those are the kinds of problems we want to have," McDevitt said of having 13 skaters make the stat sheet.

Winona (1-1) opened scoring when Alex Lubahn, who led the Winhawks with two goals and an assist, caught La Crosse's goalie off guard for a 1-0 score.

"As long as we win," Lubahn said. "Points are nice, but, everyone's getting goals. We knew we played bad (Tuesday). We didn't have the mentality."

La Crosse tied the game one minute later on Lubahn's head contact penalty.

Kelly put up his goal, with Svendsen getting the helper, before La Crosse scored its final goal on a penalty shot. Winhawks' senior Frank Wychgram took down La Crosse's Colton Tydrich on a breakaway attempt, drawing a penalty.

"Watching the tape, he took him down before getting even with him," McDevitt said. "With our goaltenders, it's not a big deal."

With the game tied at 2 going into the third period, Winona turned up the heat.

"They took it to us a little bit in the first and second (periods)," Lubahn said. "We responded, we were aggressive. That's what we need to do to win."

Lubahn scored what proved to be the game-winner 25 seconds into the final period, before Luke Strobush scored a short-handed goal to make it 4-2, with just under 6 minutes remaining.

"Our penalty kill is coming along," McDevitt said. "We have guys out there that have never been in that situation. The guys are understanding what we want them to do and that being aggressive helps."

Hemker scored his goal after avoiding a hit, Svendsen redirected Hemker's shot and Rowe sniped a goal all within 90 seconds to put Winona up for good.

Winona goaltender Jeff Czaplewski saved 19 shots while the Winhawks peppered La Crosse's Zack Brady and Nick Maharias with 46 shots.

"Our backbone is our goaltending," McDevitt said. "We know that they will come and make those big saves and keep us in the game."