By Jim den Hollander
After enjoying a rare weekend off, the Team Wisconsin 18U squad including Erik Peterson, a senior with the Sauk Prairie Eagles, returned to Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League play and snapped a seven-game winless streak.
TW played four games on home ice at Chippewa Falls, beginning with a pair of wins against Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine (6-3, 7-4), the first on Friday (Oct. 15) night and the other early Saturday. Later Saturday, the team grabbed its third win of the weekend, taking the first of two against Twin Cities Orthopedics 2-1. TCO denied the Wisconsin squad a weekend sweep, taking the final game of the weekend 10-4.
Team Wisconsin 6 Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine 3
On Friday night, the visitors hit the scoreboard first but TW owned a 2-1 edge after a period and matched the same total in both the second and third.
Josh Austin (Senior – St. Mary’s Springs Ledgers) paced the TW attack with three goals, Callan Buddinger (Notre Dame Academy Tritons) adding two and setting up another three and Ian Engel (Senior – Neenah/Hortonville/Menasha Rockets) scored the other. Peterson picked up a minor penalty in the contest.
Brian Fixmer (Senior – Chippewa Falls Cardinals) turned in a stellar performance between the pipes, stopping 43 shots to lead the team to a win in a wild 88-shot contest
Team Wisconsin 7 Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine 4
After grabbing a 2-1 first period lead on Saturday morning, TW all but settled this one with a four-goal second period explosion and a 6-2 lead heading to the third.
Jon Wiebusch (Senior – Edgewood Crusaders) fired two goals with other TW markers added by Parker Murn (Senior – Edgewood Crusaders); Hunter Bill (Junior – Notre Dame Academy Tritons); Colton Jamieson (Junior Cretin Durham Hall MN); Peyton Platter (Senior – Eau Claire Memorial Old Abes) and Aidan Lenz (Senior – Edgewood Crusaders).
Adam Prokop turned in another awesome performance in goal for TW, stopping 53 shots helping TW pick up the win despite a lopsided 57-33 edge in shots for the opposition.
Team Wisconsin 2 Twin Cities Orthopedics 1
After 13 goals in the first two games, TW engaged in a defensive battle later Saturday. The Orthopedics scored their lone goal in the first period, Tyler Dale (Senior – Waukesha Wings) tying it with his second period tally and Kade Smigaj (Junior – Stevens Point Panthers) sinking the game winner in the opening minute of the third.
Fixmer collected his second win of the weekend, beaten just once on 31 shots.
Twin Cities Orthopedics 10 Team Wisconsin 4
The final game of the weekend proved one too many for the Dairyland squad who fell behind 4-0 in the first period and trailed 6-0 before counting its first goal in the middle period.
Austin, Smigaj, Wiebusch and Lenz counted the Team Wisconsin goals.
With the weekend games, Team Wisconsin boosted its record in league play to 5-8-4 and its overall record to 9-9-4.
The team will head to New Hope, MN for its final three regular season games Saturday and Sunday with League playoffs getting underway the following weekend.