HUDSON, Wis. -- The Western Wisconsin Stars have had no trouble scoring goals through their first four games of the season.
The Stars have scored at least six goals in each game, including a 7-2 victory over Hudson Thursday night, Dec. 3. The Raiders ended the Stars’ season last year with a 4-1 victory in the regional finals on their way to reaching the WIAA state semifinals.
Western Wisconsin, a Somerset-based co-op consisting of players from Somerset, New Richmond, St. Croix Falls and Amery, opened the season with an 8-1 victory over Viroqua Saturday, Nov. 28, and defeated Hayward 6-1 Tuesday, Dec. 1, before Thursday night’s 7-2 win at Hudson. They went on to win their fourth game in eight days with a 6-2 victory over the Wisconsin Valley Union co-op in Wisconsin Rapids Saturday night, Dec. 5.
Thursday night’s game in Hudson was a tight one until the Stars scored six goals in the final nine minutes to break things open.
Western Wisconsin opened the scoring when Brynn Connors took a pass from Emi Emahiser in the slot and scored a power-play goal with 5 minutes, 47 seconds left in the first period.
Hudson knotted things up 2:20 into the second period when Nikki Olund was stopped on a breakaway. but was able to gather up her own rebound and slide the puck to a trailing Leah Parker, who flipped it over fallen Stars’ goalie Lauren Sobczak.
But the third period belonged to the Stars as Ellie Brice continued her hot start to the season by accounting for four of the Stars’ six goals. Madison Trautmiller and Makena Ducklow added a goal and assist apiece and Erin Huerta picked up two assists while Josie Sawicki and Brooke Olson had one assist each.
Sobczak finished with 15 saves as the Stars outshot the Raiders 38-17, including 18-3 in the third period.
Brice scored six goals and Huerta accounted for the other two in the Stars’ 8-1 season-opening victory over Viroqua Nov. 28 in Somerset. Emma Larkowski dished out three assists and Emahiser had two while Sawicki, Trautmiller, Alise Wiehl and Alaina Smith picked up one apiece. Emaliya Schultz made eight saves in net as Western Wisconsin outshot Viroqua 56-9.
Tuesday night, Dec. 1 in Somerset, Brice had two goals and three assists, Huerta and Olson had a goal and assist each, and Wiehl and Connors added a goal apiece in a 6-1 victory over Hayward. Sobczak made nine saves as the Stars outshot the Hurricanes 31-10.
Saturday night in Wisconsin Rapids the Stars trailed for the first time this season before scoring the final five goals of the game for a 6-2 victory.
Wiehl gave the Stars an early 1-0 lead but they were down 2-1 before Huerta scored late in the second period to tie the score. Just like three nights earlier in Hudson, the third period was all Western Wisconsin as Huerta scored twice more to earn a hat trick, Wiehl netted another goal and Brice finished off the scoring with her 13th goal of the season.
Emailiya Schultz and Sobczak combined to make 19 saves as the Stars outshot Wisconsin Valley Union 46-21, including 22-4 in the third period.
The Stars will host Hudson in a rematch of last week’s games this Thursday, Dec. 10