The Wisconsin Windigo’s long road trip continued this past weekend as they traveled north on the Kenai Peninsula to take on the Anchorage Wolverines. The teams played games on three consecutive days, with the Windigo handily winning the first and third games of the series.
Friday, October 28: Wisconsin Windigo 7 at Anchorage Wolverines 3 Anchorage came out flying in the first period, peppering Windigo goalie Max Beckford with 14 shots, two of which found the back of the net. The Windigo seemed to find their legs in the second period, scoring 4 consecutive goals. The line of Paul Huglen, Cam Boche and Everett Pietila led the charge for the Windigo, with Boche (assisted by Pietila and Cashen Naeve) opening the scoring for the Windigo 3:30 into the second period. Paul Huglen (assists to Boche and Pietila) continued the scoring 24 seconds later. The onslaught continued when Tyler Grahme scored on the power play (assisted by Connor Mahony and Axel Begley) at 16:56 of the period. The Windigo wrapped up their 4-goal outburst when Luke Levandowski (assists to Will Schumacher and Grahme) converted on another power play at the 17:40 mark of the second period. Anchorage brought the game to within one goal just 30 seconds into the third period. The Windigo responded with three unanswered goals to secure the win. Connor Mahony scored twice, with the assists on those goals credited to Sam Jacobs, Victor Widlund, Schumacher and Naeve. Ben Anderson (assisted by Drew Fisher and Zach Burfoot) concluded the scoring at 17:42 of the third with a nifty forehand to backhand deke of the Anchorage goalie. “We challenged our players to be more aggressive and use our team speed to our advantage. We saw that take shape once we got rolling in the second period. Our penalty killing was strong once again and made a big difference tonight,” noted Windigo head coach Blake Hietala after the game. Anchorage went 0 for 5 on the power play. Windigo goalie Max Beckford made 28 saves on the 31 shots he faced, including several key saves early in the game. Connor Mahony added an assist to his 2-goal performance, pacing the Windigo with a 3-point night. Cam Boche and Tyler Grahme contributed strong offensive performances as well, each registering a goal and an assist.
Saturday, October 29: Wisconsin Windigo 3 at Anchorage Wolverines 5 – Saturday’s rematch between the Windigo and Wolverines was a closely contested battle throughout the night. Once again, Anchorage came out charging and with 16 shots on Windigo goaltender Max Beckford in the opening frame. Anchorage scored the lone goal at 14:47 of the first period. The Windigo responded early in the second period on a goal by defenseman Axel Begley with the assists credited to Cole Mickel and Cam Boche. The teams traded goals with Ben Anderson (from Sam Groebner and Zach Burfoot) scoring for the Windigo. Anchorage took a 4 to 2 lead into the third period after scoring on a power play late in the second. The Windigo pressed hard in the third, outshooting their opponent 10 to 7. Wisconsin’s Will Schumacher brought the Windigo to within 1 goal when he scored on a power play with 51 seconds left in the game. However, Anchorage sealed the win with 11 seconds to go on an empty netter. Max Beckford recorded 27 saves on the 31 shots he faced during the contest.
Sunday, October 30: Wisconsin Windigo 7 at Anchorage Wolverines 2 In a rare Sunday game, the Windigo entered the contest with a short bench- having five regulars on their roster sidelined due to various injuries. Nonetheless, the Windigo carried the play from the opening faceoff using their team speed and aggressive play to full advantage. Victor Widlund opened the scoring for the Windigo just over 1 minute into the contest with the assists going to Luke Levandowski and Noah Pickart. Anchorage answered with 2 goals of their own before the flood gates opened for the Windigo in which they scored 5 unanswered goals. Levandowski’s goal at 10:43 of the first period ignited the outburst. Zach Burfoot and Will Schumacher followed with goals of their own to propel the Windigo to a 4 to 2 lead going into the second period. Paul Huglen and Sam Jacobs continued the onslaught with second period goals. Burfoot scored his second goal of the night just over nine minutes into the third period to close out the victory for the Windigo. Max Beckford had 21 saves in net for the Windigo. In addition to Burfoot’s 2 goals, other notable offensive performances were turned in by Victor Widlund (1 goal, 3 assists), Will Schumacher (1 goal, 2 assists) and Luke Levandowski (1 goal, 2 assists). “I was pleased with our team effort tonight. We are dealing with injuries to key players but those asked to fill some big shoes stepped up tonight. Everyone contributed to the win. I like how we are starting to play with confidence,” commented coach Hietala afterwards. “The Lewandowski, Widlund, Schumacher line clicked from the start. Zach Burfoot is coming off an injury suffered in the preseason. He is just starting to find his stride. It was great to win a series,” continued Hietala.
Up Next: October 28 and 29 – Anchorage Wolverines The long nine-game road trip continues for the Windigo as they head to Chippewa Falls, WI, to face the Steel on November 4 and 5.