Tomah’s offense ignited and kept a pair of games out of the loss column.
The Timberwolves gained a 5-5 tie at La Crosse Central/La Crosse Logan a Mississippi Valley Conference match Tuesday and returned home Thursday to defeat Viroqua 6-0 in a nonconference game.
Tomah emerged from the two matches with a 1-4-1 record and an offense that’s averaging three goals per contest.
“In the last two games we have attacked the net better than previous games,” Tomah coach Todd Kirschbaum said. “We are getting players and pucks to the net.”
Tomah had a 5-2 lead at La Crosse before penalties allowed the Red Rangers to score three power-play goals in the final period. The final 17 minutes included two checking-from-behind penalties, one for 10 minutes and the other for five. The Timberwolves had a two-minute power play during the eight-minute overtime but couldn’t convert.
Boone Mathison and Dylen Pierce each scored two goals for the Timberwolves. Pierce also had two assists.
The Timberwolves wasted little time asserting themselves against Viroqua. Less than a minute into the contest, Wade Miller pounced on a Viroqua turnover and scored an unassisted goal for a 1-0 Tomah lead.
Nine minutes later, Noah Nick poked home a weakside rebound off a hard slap shot by defenseman Dalton Prielipp for a 2-0 Tomah lead.
Less than two minutes into the second period, Miller scooped up a puck in heavy traffic in front of the Viroqua net and shoved home a five-footer for a 3-0 Tomah advantage.
The lead went to 4-0 late in the period, when Tomah needed just 21 seconds to convert a 5-on-3 power play. Jagger Hammer took a pass from Nick and flipped a shot into the upper-right corner of the net.
Tomah didn’t score again until late in the third period, when Mathison and Nick scored power play goals courtesy of a checking-from-behind penalty that left Viroqua short one skater for the final 4 ½ minutes.
Kirschbaum said there was no strategy change that triggered the goal-scoring increase.
“The players are starting to see options and the idea ‘that if I work hard to get to the net, good things happen,’” Kirschbaum said.
The Timberwolves return to MVC action with a Tuesday, Dec. 12 match at Sparta starting at 7 p.m. The next home match is Saturday, Dec. 16 against Spooner in a 1 p.m. faceoff at Tomah Ice Arena.
TOMAH 5 LA CROSSE CENTRAL/LA CROSSE LOGAN 5
Tomah 2 3 0 − 5
La Crosse 1 1 3 − 5
First period: T—Prielipp (Pierce) 6:40. T—Mathison (Smith, Pierce) 14:41. L—Kjos 16:48.
Second period: L—Koperski (Kjos, Popp) 7:31. T—Mathison (Hammer, Arity) 8:25. T—Pierce (Hausman) 11:36. T—Pierce 12:34 (pp).
Third period: L—Ziegelbein (Fleming, Popp) 7:04 (pp). L—Kjos (Koperski) 7:33 (pp). L—Ziegelbein (Koperski) 12:40 (pp).
Saves: T—Peterson 28. L—Snyder 32.
Penalties: T 6-23. L 7-25.
TOMAH 6 VIROQUA 0
Viroqua 0 0 0 − 0
Tomah 2 2 2 − 6
First period: T—Miller :53. T—Nick (Prielipp) 10:02.
Second period: T—Miller (Arity) 1:50. T—Hammer (Nick, Pierce) 16:43 (pp).
Third period: T—Mathison (Nick) 13:05 (pp). T—Nick (Hammer) 15:57 (pp).
Saves: V—Bergdahl 48. T—Vender 16.
Penalties: V 10-31. T 6-15.
MVC BOYS HOCKEY Aquinas/Holmen2-0-0