Anticipation was in the air Thurs. Jan. 27 as the Mound Westonka boys high school hockey team hosted the Orono Spartans at Thaler arena. Whenever these teams get together the play is usually intense as students and parents from both schools pack the house.
The opening period was a low scoring affair with the White Hawks ringing two shots off the pipe in the first 4 minutes of the game. At 12.32 MW's Riley Williams skated into the left side of the Spartan zone, feed the puck behind the net to Alex Bakke who tapped it in front to a breaking David Bingham for 1-0 lead at the end of the 1st.
Orono came out of the locker room to start the 2nd and quickly beat the MW goaltender at .31 on a dribbling shot from the slot. Just 24 sec. later the Spartans took the lead on a 2 on 1 advantage. At 2.57 the White Hawks won a faceoff outside the Orono blue line and MW's Bingham gained the zone feeding Alex Bakke in front of the net for the equalizer. The Spartans took the lead at 10.32 on a defensive zone turnover. Two minutes later they would score again off a right hashmark shot. The White Hawks pulled to within one at 8.27 on a Charlie Curti (Bingham) goal on a 2 on 1 break and it looked like it would be a goal fest. The Spartans have 13 seniors on this years squad and the upperclassman took control towards the end of the 2nd with three unanswered goals against the young White Hawks for a 7-3 lead at the second intermission.
Orono would score again at 1.10 of the 3rd on a power play goal with the Spartans senior Ross Luetke getting his fifth assist on the night. MW's Kirby Horgan netted the games final goal at 8.45(Hales, J. Brady) after a Spartan miscue. Orono finished the game with 44 shots on goal defeating MW 8-4.
Sat. Jan. 29 MW looked to get back on the winning track at Litchfield against the Dragons. The White Hawks were looking to avenge an OT loss against Litchfield in early January. MW opened the scoring at 5.56 of the first on an Alex Loken (Williams,Bingham) goal when Bingham passed the puck out from the corner to Williams behind the net who connected with Loken in front of the Dragon goal. The goal is the senior's first of the year. Litchfield tied the score at 7.46 on a pp goal off a right point slap shot. A short time later at 9.39 MWs Alex Bakke(Bingham,Williams) would tap in a loose puck after the Litchfield goaltender could not handle a shot from the high slot area. The Dragons scored at the 16.36 mark when a White Hawk icing call resulting in a late period defensive zone faceoff. End of one, 2-2.
MW started the second period scoring early at the .17 sec. mark when Bakke (Bingham, Griffith) scooped up a loose puck in front of the Litchfield net for his second goal on the afternoon. White Hawk freshman Hunter Smith (Griffith,Curti) scored a power play goal at 7.08 on a hard blast from the high left circle for a 4-2 MW lead at the end of two.
Tight MW defense and solid goaltending from David Engel would shut down the Dragons in the Third. Engel had a huge pad save from point blank range at 9.31 to preserve the two goal lead. At 14.14 MW took a hook and the Dragon coach pulled his goalie for a 6 on 4 advantage. MW held off the attack for a hard earned 4-2 road win.
Next for the boys, at #16 ranked Delano on Tuesday, Feb. 8. At home, Providence Academy Thursday Feb. 10, and at Hutchinson Friday Feb. 11