Hockey Cards improve to 9-0

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Garrett Graf and Middleton’s hockey team have raced to a 9-0 start./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Middleton’s hockey team has jumped to No. 4 in the latest Wisconsin Prep Hockey poll. And the way the Cardinals have performed this season, their upward climb hasn’t ended.

Middleton rolled to three more wins last week and improved to 9-0 on the season.

The Cardinals toppled Sun Prairie, 3-1, last Tuesday. Middleton then blanked Madison La Follette/East, 13-0, last Thursday and downed Madison Memorial, 6-1, last Saturday.

Middleton’s win over the Spartans was especially sweet after Memorial defeated the Cardinals in a sectional final last year.

“That game was a good measuring tool for us as coaches to see and get a sense of where we are as a team,” Middleton coach Steffon Walby said of the Memorial game. “I felt that we didn't have any passengers, and that everyone brought their ‘A’ game.”

Sun Prairie certainly brought its ‘A’ game to Middleton last Tuesday.

Sun Prairie started strong and took a 1-0 lead after the first period.
“Sun Prairie came out and gave us everything we could handle in the first period,” Walby said. “If it wasn't for Tony Wuesthofen’s solid play in net, we might have been down a few more goals.”

Middleton played a much strong second period, and evened things up on a Garrett Graf goal midway through the period. Troy Reifstock and Wes Rock assisted on the play.

“We regrouped in the intermission and found our stride and came out with a totally different mindset,” Walby said.

The game was still tied, 1-1, with just 5 minutes left when Justin Engelkes notched the game-winner on an assist by Griffin Gussell. Jordan Hylbert scored an empty net goal with just 10 seconds left to ice the win.

“Overall it was our veteran leadership and our conditioning that was the difference,” Walby said. “Their goalie played amazing and really held them in the game. Sun Prairie is a young team and they will be a great team later this year and years to come.”

Middleton had an easy time with Madison La Follette/East.

Eleven different Cardinals scored, including two goals each by Alex Nisbet and Nolan Kouba. Jake Livesy had four assists and a goal, Braxton Walby had three assists and a goal and Ross Johnson had two assists and a goal.

The Cardinals then notched a huge win over rival Madison Memorial in a game they’d been waiting for since March.

“Well we knew this was going to be a huge game on the calendar,” Walby said. “We knew that they had lost a few great players. We didn't take them lightly knowing they still had great talent and coaching.”

After a scoreless first period, Colin Butler gave Middleton a 1-0 lead just 46 seconds into the second period. Hylbert and Zach Heidel assisted on the goal.

Memorial tied things less than two minutes later, but Middleton dominated the rest of the game.

Graf scored at 7:21 to put the Cardinals ahead, 2-1. Engelkes and Davis Bunz added goals before the second period ended as Middleton raced to a 4-1 lead.
Engelkes added another goal at 5:14 in the third period. Bunz then added another goal with 2 minutes left as the Cardinals rolled to an impressive win.

“We needed and got a quick start, we needed to be physical and we did,” Walby said. “Our kids played a very solid game and we were excited to know the kids met the challenge.

“I thought our team defense we outstanding. Our special team were 100%, which is always nice. I thought our seniors played with conviction. I thought the guys that knew they had something to prove from the last time we played Memorial, stepped up and definitely became huge contributors.”




Madison La Follette/East ...... 0 0 0 — 0

Middleton .............................. 4 4 5 — 13

First period: M — Walby (Julius), 4:12; M — Johnson (Walby, Lewis), 9:28; M — Kouba (Engelkes, Gussel), 10:06; M — Kouba (Livesy, Sjowall) , 15:26.

Second period: M — Graf (Johnson, Ruck), 3:47; M — Feldt (Habhab), 10:58; M — Livesy (Graf, Sjowall), 15:25; M — Nisbet (Reifsteck, Johnson), 16:31.

Third period: M — Gussel (Reifsteck), 3:17; M — Lewis (Livesy), 4:37; M — Nisbet (Livesy, Walby), 14:05; M — Shaw (Livesy), 14:28; M — Buuz (Walby, Gussel), 16:50.

Saves: MLFE (Goss 57, Kasper 17, Agart 11) 85; M (Vodenlich) 5.




Sun Prairie........................ 1 0 0 — 1

Middleton......................... 0 1 2 — 3

First period: SPHS — Halbleib (Uttech), 4:05.

Second period: M — Graf (Reifsteck, Rock),


Third period: M — Engelkes (Gussell), 4:55; M — Hylbert (Butler, Walby), 16:50.

Saves: SPHS () 0; M () 0.


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