RIVER FALLS, Wis.-- After seeing a two goal lead slip away in a 5-2 Big Rivers Conference loss to Chippewa Falls earlier in the week, the River Falls boys’ hockey team ended the regular season on a high note with a 5-0 shutout of Chisago Lakes Thursday night, Feb. 13, on the road.
The split gives the Wildcats a final regular season record of 7-15-2 heading into their WIAA Division 2 regional against Viroqua Thursday, Feb. 20.
Max Rotsaert and Jared Plackner scored two goals each and Teddy Norman tallied one in the Cats’ 5-0 win at Chisago Lakes Friday night.
Rotsaert scored two first period goals, the first with an assist from Ethan Hull, to stake River Falls to a 2-0 lead while both of Plackner’s goals came in the second period with Grady Nygaard and Cole Evavold assisting. Norman converted a pass from Joe Stoffel late in the second period to make the final 5-0.
River Falls’ goalie Andrew Adermann was perfect in goal to record his first career shutout.
Two nights earlier, Stoffel scored two first period goals to stake River Falls to an early lead but Chippewa Falls responded with five unanswered scores to beat the Wildcats 5-2 in their Big Rivers Conference finale at Wildcat Centre.
Stoffel took a pass in the slot from Norman and beat Cardinal goalie Bridger Fixmer four minutes into the game and scored unassisted four minutes later to give the Wildcats a quick 2-0 lead.
But Chippewa Falls took advantage of a five-minute major power play at the end of the first period to cut River Falls’ lead in half, and scored the only goal of the second period to tie the score before netting three third period goals to make the final 5-2.
Adermann finished with 34 saves as the Cardinals outshot the Wildcats 39-17.
The Wildcats enter the postseason as the No. 2 seed in their WIAA Division 1 sectional bracket and will host No. 7 Viroqua (4-14-0) at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20. The winner will face either No. 3 Somerset (12-11-1) or No. 6 Black River Falls (8-14-0) in a sectional semifinal Tuesday, Feb. 25, at the home of the higher seed.
The other side of the bracket features top-seeded Baldwin Woodville (12-8-3) taking on No. 8 Altoona (3-18-0), and No. 4 West Salem (7-13-1) against No. 5 Menomonie (5-17-0)). The sectional final is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 29, at 4 p.m. in Somerset.