By Jim den Hollander
The Baraboo Thunderbirds grabbed leads twice but it was Milton Redbirds using a dominant final 17 minutes to rally for a 3-2 win at the Badger Challenge Saturday at the Waunakee Ice Pond.
Thunderbirds scored first and controlled the shot clock in both the first and second periods in the battle of fifth place teams from the Badger West and Badger East Conferences, but the score was even at 1-1 after the first and 2-2 heading to the third period.
Sophomore Carson Zick notched the first of the contest for the Thunderbirds 2:14 into the game, unassisted but senior Gannon Kilgora equalized or the Redbirds 66 seconds later. Baraboo held an 11-8 edge in shots in the period.
In the middle period the Thunderbirds scored first again, first-year Nathan Gneiser pulling the trigger with help from juniors Luke Schweda and Peyton Sloan.
Redbirds rallied to tie it again with a goal from sophomore Ty Johnson and Baraboo/Portage had the edge in shots again 10-8.
The Redbirds flipped the tables in the final frame, outshooting the Thunderbirds 15-5 and junior Colter Thorn gave the Badger East squad its lone win of the day with his goal in the period’s second minute.
Senior goaltender Andrew Schaetzl turned in a 28-save effort for Thunderbirds who unfortunately saw its losing streak stretched to eight games with the loss.
The local squad returns to action Tuesday with a home game against the Viroqua Blackhawks starting at 7:30 p.m.