After an eight-day stretch without playing a game, the Viroqua cooperative boys hockey team had a hard time shaking the rust off, losing back-to-back games last weekend.
Viroqua vs. Lakers, Jan. 19
The Blackhawks hosted the Madison La Follette/East co-op, Friday, Jan. 19, at the Virqoua Community Arena, skating with the Lakers through two periods with the score tied at 2-2 entering the final 17 minutes. The visitors pushed across the go-ahead goal midway through the final period however, and added a late score to make the final Lakers 4 Viroqua 2.
The Blackhawks had defeated the Lakers Nov. 30 in a 1-0 overtime thriller in a game played in Madison on a goal by the junior forward Nathan Turnipseed. After shutting out the Lakers for over 55 minutes in the earlier meeting, it took just 1:18 for the Madison Area Co-op to get on the board in the Friday night contest grabbing a 1-0 lead.
VHS senior center Sam Berg, the team’s second leading scorer this season, tied the game at 1-1 on a power play goal with 5:30 left in the first period. The score came as Berg, positioned on the left side of the goal crease, deflected a slap-shot from senior defenseman Brendan Hoffland into the upper left-corner of the Laker net. Hoffland was credited with the assist on the play.
The Lakers regained the lead at 2-1 with a goal midway through the second period, scoring off a face-off, following a questionable icing call that went against the Hawks.
The Blackhawks countered to tie the score at 2-2, on another power-play goal coming late in the second period with 1:52 remaining. Senior Jason Mischler knocked in a rebound, in heavy traffic on the left side of the visitors’ goal, off a shot by VHS senior defenseman Harry Hughes. The Lakers took the lead for good at 3-2 with 7:46 remaining on the third period clock and then added the final score at 1:30 remaining in the contest.
Blackhawk senior goaltender Carter Bergdahl (Westby High School), stopped 28 of 32 Laker shots on goal, while the Blackhawks created 27 shots on the enemy goal. It is notable that on Senior Night the two goals and two assists were produced by four Blackhawk seniors, Berg, Hoffland, Mischler and Hughes.
The Hawks skated the game short-handed, playing without Turnipseed, the team’s leading scorer, and sophomore forward Jake Krause (WHS), the team’s third leading scorer.
Viroqua at DeForest, Jan. 20
Less than 24 hours later the Hawks were back on the ice again, this time traveling to De Forest, where they dropped a 4-0 decision.
The Norskies tallied single scores in the first and second periods and added a pair of goals in the third to defeat the Blackhawks.
Bergdahl was credited with 44 saves in the game, while the Blackhawks mustered just 14 shots toward the Norskie goal.
Following a scheduled game at Sparta Jan. 25, the Blackhawks host three consecutive home games, welcoming Monroe to the community arena Jan. 27, La Crosse Central/Logan Feb. 1 and Sauk Prairie Feb. 3.