The Central Wisconsin Storm girls hockey team scored early and often in a 13-0 defeat of Northland Pines in a WIAA regional final Thursday at Greenheck Fieldhouse. (Submitted photo)

For Wausau Pilot & Review

WESTON – The Central Wisconsin Storm took the first step in their quest to defend their WIAA state championship with a convincing 13-0 victory over the Northland Pines Eagles on Thursday at Greenheck Fieldhouse.  

Ten different players scored in a balanced CWS attack and senior captain Chloe Lemke pitched her sixth shutout of the season with 10 saves. 

The Storm (21-4) will move on to play Hayward (21-4) in the sectional semifinals on Tuesday at Greenheck. Hayward defeated Medford 11-0 on Thursday to advance. 

CWS scored twice in the opening three minutes of the game on goals by Gabi Heuser and Hannah Baumann. The score remained 2-0 until a four-goal flurry by CWS in the periods final three minutes.  Sophie Bohlin, Gianna Travis and Mara Meverden each scored and Baumann added her second of the night. For Baumann, the senior captain, the goal marked the 100th point of her Storm career. The Storm took a 6-0 lead into the break. Shots on goal in the first period were 22-1 in favor of Central Wisconsin.

The second period featured three Storm tallies, one by freshman Madeline Kelter and a pair by Baumann, giving her four goals for the game and 27 on the season. CWS would add four more goals in the third period to complete the scoring. Junior Julia DeByle scored shorthanded, and seniors Mackenzie Bautch and Kailey Grosskreutz also found the back of the net. Freshman Ava Whitmore finished the scoring.

Northland Pines finished the season 1-19, as netminder Jenna Uhrine finished with 26 saves.

The Tuesday match-up with Hayward will be the third of the season between the two teams. The teams split a pair of regular season games, a 3-0 Storm win and a 4-1 win by the Hurricanes. Hayward boasts the state’s top two scorers in Riley Sprenger (49 goals and 26 assists) and linemate Reese Sheehan (34 goals and 32 assists). The Hurricanes have won 13 straight games, while the Storm has won 14 of their last 15. Puck drop will be at 7 p.m. with advanced ticket sales only. Click here to find out more about tickets