For Wausau Pilot & Review
WESTON – It was “Pink the Rink” Night as the Central Wisconsin Storm girls hockey team hosted the Northern Edge at Greenheck Fieldhouse.
Looking for their eighth straight win, the Storm used a four-goal outburst in the second period to turn back a stubborn Edge team 6-0. It was their sixth shutout during the current winning streak that now stands at eight.
A determined Edge team went toe-to-toe with CWS through most of the first period. The Storm finally broke through when junior Julia DeByle tapped home a rebound from an Ava Rode shot at 11:12 of the opening period. The period would end with a 1-0 Storm lead. “Give them (Edge) a lot of credit for coming in and battling as hard as they did,” said Storm co-head coach Dan Bauer.
It looked like the Edge might tie the game early in second period when back-to-back Storm penalties put them on a 5-on-3 powerplay. Senior captain Chloe Lemke made a handful of saves in goal for the Storm, including a pair of dangerous chances by Maria Giroella, to keep the Edge off the scoreboard. Midway through the period CWS would score four times in a span of 2:34 to blow the game open.
Tristan Wicklund started it with a wrist shot following a great backdoor pass from senior captain Hannah Baumann. Freshman Madeline Kelter made a perfect pass to Gabi Heuser off a 3-2 rush and Heuser slipped a wrist shot under the cross bar to make it 3-0. Kelter started the next goal with a strong forecheck leading to a Sophie Bolin goal from the high slot. Rode, a sophomore defenseman, finished the goal barrage scoring off a beautiful pass from freshman Ava Whitmore.
When the dust cleared, the Storm would take a commanding 5-0 lead into the lockeroom.
“We were a little too fancy and loose in the first period, too unstructured and it showed,” said Bauer. “When we got back to our team game, the goals came.”
Heuser would add a third period power-play goal and Lemke added a huge save late to preserve the victory and the shutout. It was the fifth shutout of the season for Lemke, who finished with 20 saves. Kristina Kunelius also stopped 20 shots for the Edge.
CWS will face Hudson next on Monday at Greenheck. In their final six regular season games the Storm will face three of the top six teams in the state including No. 1 Superior, No. 3 Bay Area Ice Bears and No. 5 Fond du Lac Wardbirds.