The Blackhawks elevated their level of competition and played host to the No. 2 ranked team in Wisconsin, the Eau Claire Area Stars co-op, on coming up on the short end of a 6-1 score, Monday, Jan. 29.
The Blackhawks and goaltender Ivy Shonka held the Stars (18-2) scoreless through the first period before the visitors grabbed a 1-0 lead 3:46 into the second period. The Stars, whose only losses have come to No. 1 ranked Hudson and No. 3 St. Croix Valley, made it 2-0 with a shorthanded goal 5:07 into the middle period.
The Blackhawks kept the Stars on the ropes, and the final result in doubt, when Naomi Schroeder knocked in the rebound of a shot taken by Mai Barendregt from the left point. Senior defense skater Lydia Noble (Youth Initiative High School) had helped set up the play, skating the puck into the left corner of the Stars’ defensive zone, before sending the puck to Barendregt at the left point. The power play goal cut the deficit to 2-1 with 12:06 left in the final period.
The Stars proved worthy of their state ranking, closing out the game scoring four unanswered goals, including two power play scores, to secure the win.
Shonka was credited with 45 saves in net for the Hawks. Most of the damage for the Stars was done by the high scoring duo of Ava Kison and Abigail Stow, each with three goals and two assists in the game.
Viroqua at Baraboo Lightning, Feb. 1
After scoring just one goal in their last four games, the Blackhawks offense exploded in a big way on the strength of a pair of power play goals and a short-hander to blast the Baraboo Lightning 7-1 in a Badger Conference game.
Sophomore forward Erin Simonson (Westby High School), scored the first of her two goals and gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead on an even-strength score 14:40 into the first period off an assist from Emma Kolden. Just nine seconds later, sophomore forward Kelsey Shaner made it 2-0 Viroqua on a double assist goal from Kolden and Simonson.
The power play goals, both un-assisted, came back-to-back in the second period from Kolden (1:11) and Schroeder (5:16) to give the Blackhawks a 4-0 advantage. Barendregt scored the third special team’s goal of the period on an un-assisted short-hander at 10:34, before Baraboo finally got on the board 18 seconds later on a power-play score of their own.
The Blackhawks (9-11 and 4-5 Badger) closed out the scoring with two more goals in the final period. The first from Lydia Noble, off assists from Shaner and Barendregt. Simonson made the final 7-1, with her second goal of the game, an unassisted score at 14:37.
The Viroqua offense was consistent from beginning to end, creating 11, 15 and 14 shots on goal, respectively, in each of the three periods for a game total of 40. Sophomore goal-tender Abigail (Abbie) Severson got the start in goal for the Hawks and picked up the win with 17 saves against 18 shots by the Lightning.
The Blackhawks close out their regular season schedule hosting Black River Falls in a non-conference game Friday, Feb. 9, at 7:30 p.m., before welcoming Baraboo to the Viroqua Community Arena, Saturday, Feb. 10, for a 1 p.m. face-off.