By Bob Kuehl
The Mound Westonka/Watertown-Mayer/Southwest Christian girls hockey team came back from a 5-2 deficit late in the second period to tie New Prague 5-5 in their Wright County Conference opener Dec. 5. Scoring five goals, the White Hawks had their best offensive output of the season.
The Trojans struck first on a power play goal six minutes into the game. It came on a rebound off a defensemen’s shot from the point. Junior Lauren Burris tied the score 1-1 a minute later on an unassisted goal. The Trojans would strike again with exactly two minutes left in the period, when a player was left alone in front of the net.
The second period saw the Trojans score three goals in seven minutes late in the period. White Hawks junior Emily Schepers also scored during that span, but with 2:25 left in the second period, the White Hawks were on the short end of a 5-2 score. A goalie change was made to settle things down.
With just under a minute left in the period, sophomore Lily Hames fought hard along the boards in the neutral zone, got control of the puck and entered the offensive zone with eighth-grader Kailey Niccum on a two-on-one break. Hames sent a saucer pass over to Niccum, who buried the shot in the back of the net for her first varsity goal. That goal set the stage for the comeback.
The third period was all White Hawks. All three lines were buzzing and continually putting pressure on the Trojans defense and goalie. The White Hawks scored twice within 2.5 minutes to tie the game midway through the third period. Schepers scored her second goal of the game with the assist going to Burris. Then junior Sydney Hules scored, with assists going to both Schepers and Burris. That line would account for eight points on the night and dominated the game at times. Junior Taylor Smith returned to the net in the third period and didn’t allow a goal the rest of the game.
It was a great performance by the White Hawks against a team with two players going on to play Division 1 hockey next year. The relentless effort in the third period and overtime is what the coaches have been trying to emphasize all season long. The girls were finally rewarded with some goals for their efforts.
This weekend, the White Hawks travel to Litchfield on Friday, Dec. 8, for a Wright County Conference game and then host undefeated St. Francis on Saturday, Dec. 9.