Conference: Big 9
Schools in Cooperative: Cotter, Hope Lutheran, Saint Charles, Winona
Combined Enrollment: 997
Colors: Black, Orange
Assistant Coaches: Jim Martin, Rob Rousseau
Home Ice: Bud King Ice Arena, Winona
2010-11 Record: 6-18-1
t has been almost a year since Thomas Lueck has played in a hockey game.
But on Thursday night at Bud King Ice Arena, it didn’t take long for him to make his presence felt.
Lueck scored two goals to lead the Winhawks to a 6-2 Big Nine victory over Austin before an estimated crowd of 250.
Lueck and teammate Blake Hauser each missed the first half of the season because of athletic code violations.
“It felt amazing to get back out there,” Lueck said. “It was great to be back with my team.”
The senior forward made his mark at the end of the first period as he found the back of the net on a wrist shot from just outside the high slot to give Winona (4-7-1,
2-3) an early 1-0 lead.
“It was a great way to get rid of the jitters and calm me down,” Lueck said. “After that it was just another game.”
The Winhawks did their best to follow suit as they scored the next three goals. Jake Kline scored his first varsity goal, and teammates Nick Rowe and Frank Wychgram each scored.
All three goals came in a
six-minute span and put WSHS in control.
Winona dominated the first two periods, outshooting Austin 35-15.
“We really got off to a good start tonight, and I really liked our energy,” WSHS coach Fran McDevitt said. “We’re really starting to get our lines set, and I like the energy of our team.”
Austin (2-12, 1-5) scored two goals late in the second period to cut the Winhawks’ lead in half.
But Alex Lubahn lit the lamp midway through the third period, and Lueck scored his second goal of the night late in the period, putting the exclamation point on his return — and the victory.
“It was nice to get (Lueck and Hauser) back tonight; they add an element that we didn’t have before and guys kind of feed off them,” McDevitt said. “And really, for only having practiced together for three days, I thought that whole line played well tonight.”
After starting the season 1-6-1, Winona has won three of its past four games.
“Even in the loss to Century we outplayed them for two periods,” McDevitt said. “We’ve been playing well, but we have a big stretch of games coming up.
“These next two weeks will make or break our season.”
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."
LA CRESCENT, Minn. - It didn't matter if you showed up late to the boys hockey game between La Crescent High School and Winona on Tuesday night. All the action happened in the second period.
In the second mark, the scorer's table was busy with five goals and nine penalties during the La Crescent's 6-3 win over Winona.
Fifteen penalties were assessed, eight against the Winhawks (0-1). Winona coach Fran McDevitt said his team took penalties on poor fundamental plays.
"Our guys did a very poor job of controlling themselves," he said. "Our guys played out of control; maybe that's my fault, but it won't happen again. Our guys have to learn that they can't do that."
Winona opened the scoring when Alex Lubahn poked the puck out of the Winona zone during a penalty kill. He won the footrace to the puck and went forehand to backhand to beat La Crescent's Tori Taylor for Winona's only lead of the night.
Taylor made 29 saves and Winona's Jeff Czaplewski finished with 25. McDevitt said Lubahn's goal might have been Winona's only bright spot.
"We scored a shorthanded goal, that's always good," he said.
La Crescent (1-0) added a goal at the end of the first and another in the second before the penalty box got busy. The Lancers took a tripping penalty, and 16 seconds into it, Winona's Ryan Grant was called for interference after he tried to set a block.
Thirty-three seconds later, the Lancers entered the sin bin on a slashing penalty, putting Winona on a 4-on-3 advantage for 70 seconds. Winona wasn't able to convert that into goals, but when La Crescent was called for another penalty, Luke Strobush put a shot on net and Grant was there to bang the rebound home and tie the game.
A minute later, with both teams at full strength, Winona's defense left La Crescent's Jevin Dorschner alone in the slot and he capitalized with a goal.
Strobush tied the game when Rowe spied him open in the slot and shot a quick pass over to him, and he converted for a goal to make it 3-3.
Winona was done scoring for the game, but not with taking penalties, adding four more before the game ended.
McDevitt said many things need to change before Winona takes on La Crosse on Thursday night.
"I can't turn it around," he said. "It's up to them, and we just need to find 20 guys that want to put forth the effort to play varsity hockey."