Wildcats extend winning streak to 7 games
It didn’t looked good for the Dodge County boys’ hockey team as they trailed New Richmond 1-3 after the first period, but thanks to seven goals in the last two periods they secured a 8-5 win on Thursday, Dec. 26.
Even though the first period was the Wildcats’ worst in terms of number of goals, fans wouldn’t have expected that would be the case based on how the game started. Dodge County scored the game’s first goal not even a minute into the game when Logan Gauthier buried his shot past Tigers’ goalie Blake Milton. Anthony Porisch and Miles Smith earned assists on the goal that gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.
However, just a minute and a half later, the Tigers tied the game up with an unassisted even strength goal.
Before the end of the first period, New Richmond got two more goals past Dodge County goalie Isaac Dale to take a 3-1 lead into the first intermission.
Dodge County Head Coach Nick Worden said his team wasn’t playing up to its potential in the first period.
“I think we came out a bit flat today. We really struggled in our own end,” he said.
In the second period, Dodge County’s leading goal scorer Brody Lamb stepped up when he received the puck from Jake Isaak, juked the goalie, and trimmed New Richmond’s lead to 3-2.
About eight minutes later, Lamb was again involved in a Dodge County goal when he passed the puck to Gavin Giesler who shot a long-range power play goal to tie the game.
Charlie Blaisdell became the fourth different Wildcat to score less than a minute later when his unassisted goal gave Dodge County a 4-3 lead.
The offensive surge wasn’t a surprise to Worden.
“We can be a potent team on offense and when things start falling, it tends to come in waves,” he said.
However, the Tigers responded with an even strength goal and the game was tied 4-4 at the end of the second period.
The third period was all Dodge County as they got four goals from four different skaters.
First, less than two minutes into the final frame, Isaac Rogne scored his fifth goal of the season to give the Wildcats a 5-4 lead.
Second, less than a minute later, Lamb scored his second goal of the game and team-high twelfth goal of the season to increase Dodge County’s lead to 6-4. Easton Hammil and Carl Schutz collected assists on the goal.
New Richmond responded with a goal of their own to trim the Wildcats’ lead to 6-5.
But Brendon Wolesky wasn’t going to let the Tigers tie the game as his unassisted goal boosted Dodge County’s lead back up to two goals, 7-5.
Lastly, Giesler joined Lamb in the two-goal club with an empty-netter.
Worden said his skaters do a good job taking advantage of scoring opportunities.
“We have some kids that have a knack for getting the puck in the net,” he said. “We also do a nice job with the extra effort.”
In addition to his offense stepping it up in the last two periods, he said his defense and goaltender Isaac Dale also played better in the last two frames.
“Dale did a great job resetting himself at intermission [between the first and second period], and we tried to get back to simple hockey – getting pucks out quickly,” he said.
While the whole team played better, he said one skater who had an especially good game was Lamb.
“I thought Brody played really well today. He does a great job creating opportunities for himself and everyone around him,” Worden said.
Those scoring opportunities led Dodge County to an 8-5 win, which improved the Wildcats’ record to 7-2. It also advanced them to the semifinals of the Kiwanis Hockey Festival where they met Rochester Century on Friday, Dec. 27.
Dodge County’s next couple games are on the road, against Waseca and Rochester Lourdes, but they return home to host Amery at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11.