Hockey Cards jump to 4-0 start

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Casey Harper have helped Middleton’s hockey team race to a 4-0 start this season./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Middleton’s hockey team is off to a fast start.

And Cardinals’ second-year head coach Steffon Walby believes his team could be headed for a special season.

The Cardinals rolled past University School, 4-1, last Friday. Middleton then defeated Waunakee, 6-3, last Saturday.

The Cardinals are now 4-0 and appear to be one of the top teams in the Big Eight Conference and the entire Madison area.

“Our goals, are simple — to get better every day and to improve on our overall awareness of where we fell short from last year,” Cardinals coach Steffon Walby said. “Put ourselves in a position to win the Big Eight and get back to sectionals again.”

Middleton returned a terrific defensive core this season. The Cardinals can also go four lines deep at forward.

Middleton was the No. 1 seed in its sectional last season, but lost to second-seeded Madison Memorial in the sectional finals. Middleton is hoping to take things one step further this winter.

“We definitely learned from our shortfalls from last year,” Walby said. “We are focused on those and hope to improve on that for this year.

“We have to stay focused and not get ahead of ourselves. Complacency, and failure to identify our roles on this team can be an issue.”

Middleton had few issues in its two wins last week.
Nolan Kouba had a pair of goals in the Cardinals’ win over University School. Justin Engelkes had a goal and two assists, Davis Bunz had a goal and an assist, and both Colin Butler and Jordan Hylbert had two assists.

Tony Wuesthofen had 20 saves and picked up the win.

Middleton was equally impressive in its win over Waunakee.

Casey Harper had two goals and an assist, while Kouba had three assists. Bunz and Butler both had one goal and one assist, while Gussell and Hylbert had goals. Zach Heidel added two assists.

Middleton broke away from a 1-1 tie with four goals in the second period. And Wuesthofen (14 saves) notched his second win in as many nights.

The Cardinals’ fast start has them believing that anything is possible in 2015-’16.

“The league and sectional are as tough as ever,” Walby said. “There are a ton off great teams and really well-coached teams. I believe Middleton is right in the thick of the mix.”

• On deck: Middleton traveled to Janesville Tuesday, then is at Beloit Memorial Saturday at 7 p.m.

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