The Black River Falls/Tomah girls hockey team ran its winning streak to six games with an 8-0 victory over the Badger Lightning in Wisconsin Dells Jan. 30 and a 4-1 victory at Onalaska Feb. 1.
The Tigers improved their record to 13-6-1. They are 8-2 since Christmas and have outscored opponents 33-16 during that span.
It took 12 minutes for Black River Falls/Tomah to get on the board against Badger Lightning, consisting of skaters from Mauston, Baraboo, Pardeeville, Portage, Reedsburg, Sauk Prairie and Wisconsin Dells. The Tigers took a 1-0 lead when Khloe Spors scored the first of her four goals off a pass from Jenna Hausman.
The goals came quicker after that. Spors tallied the second goal with a wrist shot off a cross-ice pass in the offensive zone from Reghan Yourell, who was fed the puck down the boards from Hausman at the blue line.
Yourell completed the scoring herself in the first period. She picked up a puck near the offensive blue line that Maggie Olsen had played up the wall from the neutral zone and sent a long wrist shot high to the far side past the Lightning goalie.
Tigers coach Oak Moser said his team played well after getting an early lead.
“When you have momentum in a game such as this one and are able to manage the puck well, it is always a challenge to stay disciplined and continue to play strong in both ends of the ice,” Moser said. “The team responded well to the circumstances and continues to focus on getting off to a strong start and then maintaining pressure on our opponents.”
The first goal of the second period was an unassisted tally by Samantha Hansen as she fought her way to a loose puck and toward the Lightning goalie before finding the back of the net.
The fifth goal came from defenseman Ashley Overlien, who was on the scoring end of breakout passes from Baileigh Johnson and Ellie Dolesy that set up a shot close to the Lightning net.
Spors then scored a rebound shot off the end wall for a 6-0 lead, which triggered a continuous clock.
The Tigers were able to find the net twice more in the third period. Spors tallied an unassisted goal, and Celina Hall finished a play in tight following a battle over a loose rebound. Johnson and Ellie Steinhoff recorded assists on the goal.
Black River Falls/Tomah goalie Josie Mathison made 20 saves to earn her fourth shutout of the season.
“It was a game in which we were able to control the pace of play and manage the puck effectively,” Moser said.
The Tigers killed off three penalties to pad their season penalty kill percentage at 94 percent.
Win at Onalaska
The Tigers’ momentum carried into the contest against arch-rival Onalaska.
The scoring opened with Spors six minutes into the game after a battle for the puck following a faceoff. The puck sailed through the crease and caromed off a Hilltopper skater past the goalie for a 1-0 Tigers lead.
The Hilltoppers responded with a power play goal late in the first period, but the Tigers responded with a power play goal of their own in the final minute and a half of the first period, when Spors scored on a wrist shot from low in the right side circle, beating the goalie high to the far side. Grace Engebretson and Taylor Gular factored into the puck movement and earned assists.
The only goal of the second period came early. Just 20 seconds into the first shift of the period, Dolesy skated down into the high slot area and fired a wrist shot off a pass from Savannah Holcomb to beat the goalie and give the Tigers a two-goal lead. Johnson was also credited with an assist with her pass from below the end line to Holcomb, who found a lane to move the puck to Dolesy.
While the Hilltoppers turned up the pressure and spent significant time in the Tigers’ end, goalie Josie Mathison (23 saves on 24 shots) and several Tiger players continued to block shots and keep the Hilltoppers at bay.
The Tigers tallied the only goal of the final stanza when Spors completed her second hat trick in as many games off assists from defenseman Kaytlin Johnson and Yourell.
The Tigers committed six infractions to the Hilltoppers three and were able to kill off a five-on-three situation for a full minute of play midway in the second period.
“These games versus rival Onalaska are always hard-fought contests, and both teams look forward to them,” Moser said.
He said the Tigers are “starting to play with more confidence, and we are excited about continuing our season-long process of development. The players have bought into the goal of getting one percent better every day, focusing on what we can control and playing our game.”
The regular season wraps up Saturday, Feb. 10, when the Tigers host Lakeland at 4 p.m. at Lunda Memorial Arena.
BLACK RIVER FALLS/TOMAH 8 BADGER 0
BRF/Tomah 3 3 2−8
Badger 0 0 0−0
First period: B/T—Spors (Hausman) 12:22. B/T—Spors (Yourell, Hausman) 13:57. B/T—Yourell (Olson) 15:56.
Second period: B/T—Hansen 2:38. B/T—Overlein (B. Johnson, Dolesy) 11:48. B/T—Spors 13:54.
Third period: B/T—Spors 3:02. B/T—Hall (B. Johnson, Steinhoff) 4:57.
Saves: B/T—Mathison 20. B—Buss 30.
Penalties: B/T 3-6, B 4-2
BLACK RIVER FALLS/TOMAH 4 ONALASKA 1 BRF/Tomah 2 1 1−4
Onalaska 1 0 0−1
First period: B—Spors 5:15. O—Manglitz (Tryggestad) 14:26 (pp). B—Spors (Engebretson, Gular) 15:30.
Second period: B -Dolesy (Holcomb, B. Johnson) :20.
Third period: B—Spors (K. Johnson, Yourell) 4:27.
Saves: B—Mathison 23. O—Bekkum 21.
Penalties: B 6-12. O 3-6.