By Bill LaTour
On a rare Monday game, Feb. 5, the Mound Westonka High School boys hockey team traveled to face off against conference rivals the New Prague Trojans. Another rarity, the White Hawks did not play poorly but also did not play their best. The host Trojans skated just a bit quicker, checked just a bit harder and, with only 1:29 minutes left to play in the third period, notched the game-winning goal for a narrow 2-1 victory.
This game saw the White Hawks getting zero “puck luck,” as great scoring chances were either saved by the New Prague goalie or shots were blocked by Trojans players, creating an odd man rush the other way. At the final buzzer, it was a disappointing and rare conference loss for the White Hawks.
Game Highlights vs. New Prague:
- White Hawks goal by junior Luke Holmen
- White Hawks junior goalie Noah Coley stopped 15 of 17 shots on goal
- White Hawks outshot New Prague 24-17
On to Senior Night! Senior Night in any activity is always a big night. It is the last home game to celebrate a group that has played together, grown together and represented their school and community with class and pride. The 2017-2018 boys hockey White Hawks embody it all. Not only have they accomplished a fantastic 17-6-1 record and earned a No. 4 state ranking, they also have a record 17 senior players proud to wear the White Hawks logo.
After a heartwarming player/parent introduction ceremony on Feb. 9, where not every parent had dry eyes, it was time to get down to hockey. After the hiccup against New Prague, the White Hawks were determined to bring home a victory on Senior Night. They started out very strong by outshooting the Litchfield Dragons 16-5 in the first period.
Litchfield notched the game’s first goal early in the second period, followed by three “saves” by the Litchfield goalpost that left White Hawks fans wondering if zero “puck luck” was again on the agenda. But the White Hawks are a gritty team that has learned to create their own luck this season.
The White Hawks scored two unanswered goals in the remaining 15 minutes of period number two, one of them shorthanded. The White Hawks would add another goal in the third before the Dragons, with their goalie pulled to create a 6-on-5 skater advantage, managed a last-second goal, but it was too little too late. The White Hawks skated off victorious on Senior Night at Thaler arena.
A very nice player/parent reception was planned immediately following the game, but the senior players were having none of it. They decided to forgo cake, cookies, coffee, lemonade and pats on the back to spend another 90 minutes on the ice playing “pond hockey” with each other. This group did not want to say goodbye!
Game vs. Litchfield:
- White Hawks goals by seniors Jack LaTour and Brady Aufderheide (2)
- White Hawks outshot the Tigers 41-24
The JV team also notched a win on on Feb. 9, beating Litchfield convincingly by a score of 6-1.
Coaches Corner with Coach Hindermann:
We are in the home stretch of our season now and have learned much along the way. A hockey season can teach you many things – it has a funny way of keeping you honest when you least expect it. Honoring one another and sacrificing for each other in our preparation and in competition has brought us much success and has been the strength and foundation of who we are. Remembering who we are and where we came from has kept us humble. The lessons learned throughout the process will guide us to who we must become as we enter the playoffs and our ultimate goal: the tournament!