Christmas came a few days early for the Waupaca Area girls’ hockey team.
Not only did the team return from Fond du Lac Dec. 20 with a 4-1 win over Fond du Lac/Waupun under its belt, it also came one day after a 5-3 Great Northern Conference victory over Northland Pines at the Waupaca Ice & Expo Center.
Waupaca Area 4, Fondy/Waupun 1
FOND DU LAC – Waupaca Area took a 3-0 lead into the second period on two goals from Markie Ash and one from Mandy Tomlinson at the Blue Line Ice Center.
Laura Tymm put Fond du Lac/Waupun on the board in the third period, but Tomlinson added an insurance goal.
Brianne Huetter had two assists in the game. Waupaca Area had a 36-20 advantage in shots and goalie Cassie Rasmussen finished with 19 saves.
Waupaca Area 5, Northland Pines 3
WAUPACA – Huettner and Rasmussen came up big against the Eagles, a team that outscored Waupaca Area 13-1 in two games last season.
Huettner had two goals and Rasmussen stopped 34 of Pines’ 37 shots.
“Every girl in that locker room is ecstatic,” coach Tim Guyer said. “Great win for our program, biggest win in the three years of our program. I couldn’t say enough about the effort of our girls.”
Rasmussen, finished with 34 saves.
Huettner scored her goals in the first period. Her first goal, off of an assist from Ash and Tomlinson, came 2:19 into the game and gave Waupaca Area a 2-0 lead. Ash gave the home team an early lead with an unassisted goal 45 seconds into the game.
Kali Ebert found the net for the Eagles to cut the lead to 2-1 later in the first period, but Huettner wasn’t finished, as her second goal off of Ash’s assist gave Waupaca Area a 3-1 lead.
The Eagles cut the lead on Emily Saltenberger’s goal with 3:13 remaining in the first period.
“I said if she gets one (goal), we’re going to be in great shape and if she gets two, we’ll win,” Guyer said of Huettner. “She’s been such a good player for us all year. She hasn’t found the back of the net all year, but leads our team in assists. I told her before the game that it was going to be her night and it definitely was for her. She’s a great leader on our team.”
Neither team scored in the second period, but Pines’ Cali Sanborn made it a 4-3 game with a goal with 9:20 left in the game.
Tomlinson added a goal with 3:21 to go to give Waupaca Area a two-goal lead down the stretch.
“Our goaltender was outstanding,” Guyer said. “She shut the door. I’m really happy for Cassie. We needed her and she helped us win the game.”
Waupaca Area improved to 11-1 on the season and will head to Marshfield Friday, Jan. 2, for a 7 p.m. GNC contest with the Tigers.
The next home game is set for 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 5, against Tomahawk.