Western Wisconsin Stars coach Bob Huerta was hoping to lobby for a third seed at the WIAA sectional girls’ hockey seeding meeting held over the weekend.
An overtime loss to Chippewa Falls-Menomonie threw all those plans out the window. When the seeding meeting was held, the Stars drew the sixth seed. That means they will open the playoffs at third seeded Hudson. That game will be played at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20, at Hudson’s Gornick Arena.
The Stars complete their regular season schedule this Friday with a 7 p.m. home game against Fox Cities at the Somerset Ice Arena.
The loss to CF-M baffled the Stars’ coaches after the Stars had beaten the Sabers 5-1 earlier this season.
“That’s probably the most upset I’ve been after a game in all the seasons I’ve coached,” Huerta said. “We had a great week of practice.”
The Stars got a first period goal from Alise Wiehl and Ellie Brice scored in the second period. The Sabers scored on the power play 5:40 into the overtime period.
The Stars bounced back with a far superior effort on Friday against the Rock County Fury, a team with a 14-8 record. The Stars scored three unmatched goals in the third period to defeat the Fury, 4-2.
Wiehl scored the opening goal of the game, deflecting a hard shot from Bailey Williams past the Fury goalie. The Fury scored the only two goals of the second period.
The combo of Brice and Erin Huerta scored the tying and go-ahead goals for the Stars in the third period. First it was Brice, taking a pass from along the boards from Huerta, that tied the score. Just over three minutes later, Brice, stationed by the net, found Huerta with a pass and Huerta blasted the puck home.
The Fury kept the pressure on the Stars. With 1:12 left, Wiehl scored an empty net goal to bump the final margin to two goals.
“We played a more complete game,” Coach Huerta said in comparison to Thursday’s effort. “The girls moved the puck well. We had a lot of good (offensive) zone time.”