Last season, West Salem/Bangor reached the WIAA state tournament and Tomah won five games in 23 tries.

That seemed like ancient history Thursday. The Timberwolves unloaded for 40 shots on goal and posted a 4-1 victory over West Salem/Bangor at Tomah Ice Center.

It wasn’t the same West Salem/Bangor that bid farewell to last year’s Wisconsin Mr. Hockey and University of Wisconsin recruit Jake Gorniak, but it was still a transforming result for the new and improved Tomah/Sparta hockey co-op that has more talent and depth than last season.

“Our speed and puck movement helped us control the game,” Tomah/Sparta coach Todd Kirschbaum said. “It was a big step in the right direction with this new program. As a team we are very strong, and it is fun to be around this group with their attitude.”

The Timberwolves asserted themselves from the opening faceoff and outshot West Salem/Bangor 15-3 in the first period. The only goal of the period came when Cahil Arity pushed home a rebound shot from Dawson Cruz at the 9:29 mark.

West Salem tied the match on a power play less than three minutes into the second period, but the Timberwolves quickly resumed control. They scored their second goal on a power play, when John Christen fed Jagger Hammer in the middle of the attacking zone. Hammer ripped a hard slap shot that was deflected into the net by Boone Mathison for a 2-1 lead.

The evening’s highlight-reel goal came six minutes later. Tomah/Sparta’s Christen juked a defender at the blue line, skated toward the goalie’s left, crossed over and tucked a shot just inside the right pipe for a 3-1 lead.

The Timberwolves closed out their scoring less than two minutes later, when Adam Thompson crashed the net and converted a rebound shot off assists from Christen and Logan Rego.

Tomah/Sparta controlled a third period that featured unsuccessful five-on-three power plays for both teams. Dylen Pierce came close to scoring a Tomah/Sparta goal during West Salem’s five-on-three when he forced Panthers’ goaltender Sterling Skrede to cover the puck and wait for a whistle.

Kirschbaum said the Timberwolves’ victory was set up two nights earlier in Reedsburg, where Tomah/Sparta played Reedsburg/Wisconsin Dells to a 2-2 tie.

Christen scored a power play goal to send the match into overtime, when Tomah/Sparta goaltender Paul Vender and his Reedsburg counterpart Cooper Oakes kept the game deadlocked by combining to make 10 saves.

“Reedsburg was a fun game to be a part of,” Kirschbaum said. “Both teams skated well, and there was a lot of up-and-down-the-ice action. Both teams had great chances to win the game in overtime, but the goalies were up to the task.”

The Timberwolves’ improved their record to 2-1-1. They travel to Viroqua for a Dec. 6 contest and return to Tomah Ice Center Tuesday, Dec. 18 to host Onalaska/La Crosse Central/La Crosse Logan in a 7 p.m. faceoff.

Tomah Journal editor Steve Rundio can be reached at steve.rundio@lee.net.

TOMAH 4 WEST SALEM/BANGOR 1

West Salem/Bangor 0 1 0−1

Tomah/Sparta 1 3 0−4

First period: T/S—Arity (Cruz) 9:29.

Second period: W—LeDoux (Jackson, Gribble) 2:41. T/S—Mathison (Christen, J. Hammer) 6:48. T/S—Christen 12:11. T/S—A. Thompson (Christen, Rego).

Saves: W—Skrede 36. T/S- Vender 16.

Penalties: W 6-12. T/S 5-10.

TOMAH/SPARTA 2 REEDSBURG/WISCONSIN DELLS 2

Tomah/Sparta 0 1 1 0−2

Reedsburg/Wis Dells 0 0 2−2

Second period: T/S—Holtz (Cruz, Arity) 1:29.

Third period: R—Jones (Slaught, Pfaff) :05. R—Pfaff (Jones) :34. T/S—Christen (J. Hanmer, Long) 7:29.

Saves: T/S—Vender 36. R—Oakes 32.

Penalties: T/S 3-6. T 5-18.

Subscribe to Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.
0
0
0
0
0

Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thanks for reading. Subscribe or log in to continue.

Already a subscriber?
Log in or Activate your account.