Sporting a 10-4-0 record before Tuesday, the La Crosse Aquinas/Holmen Avalanche offered a good measuring stick for the Tomah/Sparta boys hockey team.
Tomah/Sparta measured up.
Led by sophomore Boone Mathison’s four goals, the Timberwolves routed the Avalanche 7-2 in an MVC contest at Onalaska’s Omni Center. The Timberwolves improved to 9-3-2. They are 5-0-1 in their last six games and have given up just 10 goals during that span.
The Timberwolves are almost certain to end the season with a winning record after winning just five games all of last season.
“This team has a great attitude, and they enjoy competing,” Tomah/Sparta coach Todd Kirschbaum said. “We have not had a competitive attitude in our locker room for a few years it’s nice to see it back.”
The Avalanche scored two goals within 2 ½ minutes during the second period to erase a 2-0 Tomah lead, but goals by Mathison and Danny Amberg gave the Timberwolves a 4-2 advantage heading into the third period.
The Timberwolves were dominant in the final period, outshooting the Avalanche 21-4. All three Tomah goals in the third period came off power plays.
“We finally got pucks and people to the net,” Kirschbaum said. “We were very aggressive in the offensive zone, and it paid off.”
Tomah goaltender Gavin Hammer needed to make just 15 saves.
“Defensively we kept Aquinas to the outside and kept their zone time to a minimum,” Kirschbaum said.
The first-year Tomah/Sparta co-op plays its first match of the season in Sparta Friday, Jan. 11 when the Barron-based Northwest Icemen visit the Sparta Youth Hockey Rink in a 7 p.m. faceoff.
The Timberwolves’ next contest at Mose Lamb Rink is Thursday, Jan. 17 vs. La Crescent/Hokah.
Tomah Journal editor Steve Rundio can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TOMAH/SPARTA 7 AQUINAS/HOLMEN 2
Tomah/Sparta 1 3 3−7
Aquinas/Holmen 0 2 0−2
First period: T/S—Mathison (Pierce) 9:25.
Second period: T/S—Mathison (Christen) 3:52 (pp). A/H—Wink 7:33. A/H—Schultz 9:44. T/S—Mathison (Amberg) 11:41. T/S—Amberg (Mathison, Pierce) 15:14.
Third period: T/S—Mathison (Christen) 2:11 (pp). T/S—Long (J. Hammer) 10:49 (pp). T/S—Cruz 11:33 (pp).
Saves: T/S—G. Hammer 15. A/H—Coleman 45.
Penalties: T/S—2-7. A/H—4-11.