The largest goal total in more than two years carried the Western Wisconsin Stars to an easy victory at Medford on Friday.
The Stars rolled up 13 goals in a 13-2 win against a girls’ hockey opponent that has never been on the Stars’ schedule before.
Medford is one of the smaller programs in the state with nine skaters and two goalies available for Friday’s game. The win improves the Stars’ season record to 2-2-1.
The game afforded the Stars plenty of chances to work on their offensive game as they amassed 20 or more shots in all three periods. This was also an opportunity for the younger members of the team to play a regular shift, getting their highest amount of ice time this season.
Within the first few minutes of the game Friday, the Stars had already built a commanding lead. Stars coach Bob Huerta said one of the best aspects of the game was seeing the veteran skaters working with the less experienced skaters on the ice, communicating with them so they were getting in-game learning.
The 13 goals for the Stars is the most goals the team has scored in two years. The last team they reached 13 goals was on Dec. 3, 2017, when they defeated Badger Lightning 13-1.
Of the 13 goals on Friday, one in particular stood out to Coach Huerta. He said the girls worked hard to get the puck to freshman Jamie Kulibert to get her a chance to score her first varsity goal. She scored another goal shortly after.
Ellie Brice led the Stars with four goals. Bailey Williams and Erin Huerta scored twice and Mackenzie Mike, Lauren Gruber and Alise Wiehl each scored one goal.
The Stars resume their schedule at 5 p.m. Friday when they play at Chippewa Falls.
The Stars girls locked up with Hudson in a high-paced game that carried into overtime. Neither team could score in the extra period, resulting in a 2-2 tie.
Hudson was ranked third in the state heading into Thursday’s contest, so the Stars had to be at the top of their game to compete with the Raiders. While the Stars were outshot 48-22, incredible goaltending from senior Caitlyn Erickson kept the Stars even.
Coach Huerta isn’t one for post-game honors. But after this effort, he made sure that Erickson got the game puck as a reminder of her performance.
“I thought she played a complete game. We couldn’t ask any more from her,” Huerta said.
The Stars’ goals came in the second period. Brice made a strong move to the net and it resulted in the team’s first goal. The second goal came when Erin Huerta got a rebound and lifted above the reach of the Hudson goaltender was down on the ice.
Those were the kinds of plays the coaches were looking for more often in the game.
“I’d like us to to get more shots. We get in the slot and we’re trying to make the nice play,” Coach Huerta said. He said the team still has a long way to go, but after four games, he’s encouraged by the progress.