The Tomah High School boys hockey team fired two shots off the pipe during the first six minutes of its Tuesday contest against La Crosse Central/La Crosse Logan.
Those two goals would have come in handy later in the match.
Tomah’s failure to seize an early advantage against the Red Raiders proved costly in a 6-3 Mississippi Valley Conference loss at Tomah Ice Center. The setback, combined with a 5-1 nonconference home loss to West Salem Thursday, dropped Tomah’s record to 4-13-1.
“If we converted on the shots that hit the pipe into goals early, the momentum would have been in our favor,” Tomah coach Todd Kirschbaum said.
After those missed opportunities, Tomah’s defense unraveled. Central/Logan scored four goals on 18 shots in the second period and took a 4-2 lead into the final frame.
Noah Nick, Jesse Johnson and Matthew Holtz scored Tomah’s goals.
The Timberwolves hung tough with West Salem/Bangor through two periods. The game was tied 1-1 heading into the final 17 minutes before West Salem/Bangor scored two goals in the first 1:50 of the third period to break the contest open.
Jordan Smith, assisted by Jagger Hammer, scored Tomah’s only goal on a second period power play.
Tomah goalie Paul Vender made 36 saves.
The Timberwolves host Sparta in a 7 p.m. faceoff Tuesday in what could be the final contest between the two teams. Tomah and Sparta are likely to form a co-op next season due to declining numbers at each school. The Timberwolves host Reedsburg/Wisconsin Dells in a nonconference matchup Thursday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m.
CENTRAL/LOGAN 6 TOMAH 3
Second period: C—Kjos (Bryant) 6:10. C—Bryant 9:18. T—Nick 10:49. T—Johnson 12:52. C—Kjos (Bryant) 12:52. C—Fowler (Koperski, Losen) 15:38.
Third period: C—Ziegelbein (Bryant, Kjos) 10:50. T—Holtz (Hausman) 11:30. C—Ziegelbein (Kjos, Bryant) 13:03.
Saves: C—Synder 27. T—Vender 27.
Penalties: C 1-2. T 1-2.
WEST SALEM/BANGOR 5 TOMAH 1
First period: W—LeDoux (Weilandt) 11:21.
Second period: T—Smith (Hammer) 14:44 (pp).
Third period: W—Weilandt (Jackson, Whitbeck ) :47. W—Gorniak (Krause) 1:50. W—LeDoux (Oldendorf, Holt) 7:55. W—Sandvig (Oldendorf) 12:59.
Saves: W—Hammes 20. T—Vender 36.
Penalties: W 4-8. T 3-6.