After a week off, the Wisconsin Windigo hosted the Springfield Jr. Blues this past weekend at the iconic Dome in Eagle River, WI. The Windigo brought a record of 12 wins, 12 losses, and 1 overtime loss into the weekend. Springfield entered the weekend with a record of 11 wins and 13 losses.
Friday, December 9: Springfield 3 at Wisconsin Windigo 2 (OT Shootout) The Windigo picked up where they left off prior to their bye week and set a blistering pace in the first period, outshooting Springfield 13 to 4, but it took nearly 19 minutes for them to break the ice. Luke Levandowski scored his 9th goal of the season 18:59 into the game, assisted by Victor Widlund and Connor Mahony. Undisciplined play by the Windigo opened the door for the visitors as they were able to convert on a power play 7:40 into the second period to tie the game. Despite the Windigo outshooting Springfield 19 to 11 in the second period, Springfield continued to gain momentum and scored again 12 minutes into the second. The Windigo regained the momentum in the third and found themselves with an opportunity to tie the game when Springfield took a penalty with 3 minutes left in regulation. Windigo head coach Blake Hietala called a time out to rest his top power play unit and pulled the goalie. With six attackers, Widlund and Mahony executed tape-to-tape passes to set up Levandowski for his second goal of the game on a one-timer from the far slot. “Victor and Connor executed the plan coach drew up during the time out. I was just fortunate to hit the opening I had to work with,” commented Levandowski after the game. Five minutes of exciting 3-on-3 overtime failed to settle the contest. The game was decided in a shootout, as Springfield scored on their first shootout attempt, while the Windigo went scoreless. “I am proud of our team for not giving up and finding a way to tie the game late. We outshot them 44 to 23, but we seemed to struggle a bit. The puck seemed to bounce on us, but we adjusted as the game went on,” noted coach Hietala after the game. “It was great to see Levy convert on his opportunities. He’s been doing that since he joined our club several weeks ago. His parents are here this weekend, I’m glad they were able to see him play so well tonight.” Windigo goalie Gavin Moffat made 20 saves in the game for the loss.
Saturday, December 10: Springfield 1 at Wisconsin Windigo 4 Saturday’s game was highlighted by the attendance of over 140 players form the Mosinsee Youth Hockey Association and the Price Ice Youth Hockey Club. Players from each club participated in a ceremonial puck drop prior to the game. The Jr. Blues struck first in Saturday’s rematch at 9:07 of the first period. From then on it was relatively evenly matched from a shots on goal standpoint (which favored the Windigo 25 to 23 for the game) but the Windigo generated better scoring chances and converted on their opportunities. Ben Anderson put the Windigo on the board with his 5th goal of the season on the power play, when he executed a beautiful back hand tip of the puck off an Axel Begley shot from the point. Drew Fisher picked up the other assist. At 1:33 of the third, Sam Jacobs scored his 4th of the season. Anderson and Zach Burfoot executed a quick transition out of the Windigo zone. Burfoot completed a nifty back hand pass off his own rebound to Jacobs who was wide open at the back door to bury the puck. The Anderson onslaught continued when he scored another power play from deep in the slot off a pass from Burfoot who was in-turn fed down low from Jacobs. “That entire second power play unit did a phenomenal job tonight. Begley and Fisher cycled the puck up high until they found the opening down low such that the forwards could convert,” commented coach Hietala about the power play goals. “Anderson had a great night with 2 goals and an assist. He deserves the success he’s finding with us. He plays a hard-nosed, 200-foot game. He kills penalties and now is scoring on the power play. His presence is felt every time he steps on the ice. I like where our whole team is at right now, the guys are playing with confidence and feel we can win every night,” continued Hietala. Defenseman Daniil Dolzhenko sealed the win with his first goal of the season on an empty netter from 120 feet away with 57 seconds remaining. Moffat picked up the win in net with 22 saves.
Up Next: December 16 and 17 Anchorage Wolverines Visit the Dome The Windigo will host the Anchorage Wolverines on December 16 and 17. Puck drop is at 7pm both nights at the Dome in Eagle River, WI. Tickets are available online at www.wisconsinjuniorhockey.com/tickets or at the door. Limited reserve section access is available for $15 and general admission is $10.