By Jim den Hollander
Team Wisconsin U16’s, including Luke Mast, a junior with the Sauk Prairie Eagles, opened its season taking two of three games on a road trip to the Chicago area Aug. 20-22.
All three games were played at the Arctic Ice Rink in Orland Park, Ill., starting with a 7-5 loss to the Florida Alliance Friday before bouncing back with a 6-4 win against Minnesota Blizzard Saturday and wrapping up Sunday with a 5-4 overtime edge against the Chicago Fury.
In the first game, TW fell behind 2-0 in the first period before rallying to tie it with two in the second. The southern squad regrouped and scored four before the end of the second period and never looked back.
Team Wisconsin goals came from Kyle Rohrer (Oregon Panthers); Mason Keller (Stevens Point Panthers); Jackson Lord (Homestead Highlanders); Carsen Gause (Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln Red Raiders) and Zachary Howard (St. Thomas Academy Cadets – Minn.) and Keller added an assist.
In the middle contest, TW carried a 3-1 margin out of the opening period and was up 6-3 heading to the third.
Reece Cordray (Verona Wildcats) scored a pair in the win, including a shorthanded tally to open the scoring. Jack McGregor (University School of Milwaukee Wildcats) and Rohrer both collected a goal and assist with other goals scored by Brenden Gruber (Notre Dame Academy Tritons) and Brady Engelkes (Middleton Cardinals).
In the third game, TW saw a 4-1 lead slip away as the Fury fired three goals in the game’s final seven minutes, but Gruber’s goal clinched it 98 seconds into the overtime segment.
Adam Timm (Rice Lake Warriors) paced TW with two goals and others were scored by Rohrer and Gause.
The U-16 squad was scheduled to head back to the Chicago area this weekend for a pair of games against the Windy City Storm at the Orbit Ice Arena in Palatine, Saturday and Sunday.
Luke Mast played a role in the weekend contest but didn’t hit the scoresheet in the first games of the before and after schedule.