The new Tomah/Sparta boys hockey team is for real.
The Timberwolves went to Lake Delton last week and claimed three victories to take the championship of the Monk’s Cheesburger Holiday Classic at Poppy Waterman Ice Arena.
Tomah/Sparta defeated Wisconsin Rapids 4-3 Thursday, DeForest 8-1 Friday and McFarland 3-1 Saturday.
The tournament showing was a big step forward for the Timberwolves, who are playing their first season as a co-op with Sparta. The Tomah-only squad posted a 1-5 record at the Monk’s tournament in 2016 and 2017.
Goals by Dawson Cruz, Logan Rego and Jagger Hammer staked the Timberwolves to a 3-0 lead in the quarterfinal matchup against Wisconsin Rapids.
Wisconsin Rapids scored two goals in two minutes midway through the second period before Dylen Pierce pushed the Timberwolves’ lead to 4-2 early in the third period. Wisconsin Rapids didn’t score its third goal until the game’s final second.
Four different skaters had assists for the Timberwolves.
Tomah/Sparta dominated its semifinal match against DeForest, out-shooting the Norskies 48-15. Boone Mathsion led the offense with two goals and two assists. John Christen scored two goals and one assist, and five other players scored goals. Evan Long dished off three assists.
The goaltending was split between the Paul Vender and Gavin Hammer. Hammer stopped nine shots without allowing a goal.
The championship game was a scoreless tie until nearly 12 minutes into the second period, when Mathison scored off assists from Danny Amberg and Pierce. It was the first of three goals from Mathison, who scored 3 ½ minutes into the third period and converted an empty-net shot that clinched the match with 66 seconds left.
McFarland (7-4-0) stayed close thanks to goaltender Tucker Jarrett, who stopped 46 of 48 Tomah/Sparta shots. Vender was also a busy goalie, stopping 32 of 33 shots.
Tomah/Sparta improved to 7-3-1 heading into a pair of home contests this weekend. The Timberwolves host Amery at 7 p.m. and Baldwin-Woodville at 2 p.m. Saturday. Both contests are at Tomah Ice Center.
Tomah Journal editor Steve Rundio can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TOMAH/SPARTA 4 WISCONSIN RAPIDS 3
First period: T/S—Cruz (Page) 8:06. T/S—Rego (Holtz) 11:15.
Second period: T/S—J. Hammer 6:44. W—Auclair (Evenson, Sanders) 8:06. W—Flammini (Sanders, Gunderson) 10:13.
Third period: T/S—Pierce (Mathison, Amberg) 4:21. W—Auclair (Flammini, Brey) 16:59.
Saves: T/S—Vender 29. W—Milbauer 40.
Penalties: T/S—3-6. W—1-2.
TOMAH/SPARTA 8 DEFOREST 1
First period: T/S—Christen (Mathison) 2:04. D—Garnell (Armburst, Shaw) 4:53. T/S—Mathison (Long) 5:15. T/S—Mathison (Christen) 14:56. T/S—Pierce (J. Hammer) 16:36 (pp).
Second period: T/S—J. Hammer (Holtz, Long) 7:06 (pp). T/S—Amberg (Long, Mathison) 9:20. T/S—Christen (Rego) 12:44.
Third period: T/S—Thompson (Page) 7:15.
Saves: T/S—Vender 5, G. Hammer 9. D—Bethouwer 34, Kaminski 6.
Penalties: T/S—2-4. D—4-19.
TOMAH/SPARTA 3 MCFARLAND 1
Second period: T/S—Mathison (Amberg, Pierce) 11;44.
Third period: T/S—Mathison (Christen) 3:23. M—Binger (Newcomer) 12:29. T—Mathsion 15:54 (en).
Saves: T/S—Vender 32. M—Jarrett 46.
Penalties: T/S—3-6. M 5-10.