Jim den Hollander
The Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds got its WIAA season underway Saturday against a tough opponent, dropping a 7-0 decision against the Middleton Cardinals from the Big Eight Conference at Pierce Park Pavilion.
In the first regular season meeting since 2015, the Cards outshot its host 46-14, rolling to a 3-0 first period cushion and adding two more unanswered goals in both the second and third periods.
A deep Cardinals team got three goals from senior Brendan Julius and a pair from freshman Brady Engelkes with singles from Ryan Inman and Hayden Wimmer.
Busiest player in the game was Thunderbirds’ senior goaltender, Andrew Schaetzl who kicked out 39 shots in the contest.
The Thunderbirds will have one more tune-up before heading to conference battles as they travel to Sparta Ice Arena to play Tomah/Sparta Tuesday before heading to Oregon to play the Panthers in their first Badger West Conference test two nights later.
Next home game for the Thunderbirds will be on Monday (Dec. 6) when the Madison LaFollette/East Lakers pay a visit to Pierce Park Pavilion.