By Bob Kuehl
The first game of 2018 was not kind to the Mound Westonka High School girls hockey team, as they traveled to Hutchinson and were defeated 3-1. The White Hawks JV skated to a 1-1 tie the same night.
The White Hawks controlled play for most of the first two periods but were trailing by a 3-0 score. A mistake here or there proved costly for the visitors. On the offensive end of the ice, the White Hawks were often inches from connecting on shots to the net or passes to open players.
In the third period, the host Tigers outshot and out-skated the White Hawks for long stretches of the period. Despite this, the White Hawks scored their only goal of the night on a shot by junior Emily Schepers. Junior Lauren Burris got the lone assist on the play.
Eighth-grader Kailey Niccum put a puck in the net just a fraction of a second after the final buzzer, but it was too little too late for the White Hawks. With the loss, they fell to 6-8-2 on the season with a number of ranked opponents on the horizon.
Ninth-grader Grace Peterson and Niccum were outstanding all night long for the White Hawks, as they put continuous pressure on the Tigers. Despite not registering a point, Peterson was a buzzsaw in the offensive zone and tried to set up her linemates a number of times. Niccum played her usual steady game and had a couple of great scoring chances.
The White Hawks hosted Orono on Jan. 9 and tied 1-1 in overtime. They will travel to New Prague and Bloomington Jefferson on Friday and Saturday nights, respectively, as they continue to play as many Class AA schools as possible.