Hockey Cards fall in playoffs

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel
Vince Kalscheur (18) and Middleton’s hockey team lost their playoff opener to Reedsburg’s co-op team./Photo submitted

Game experience matters.

Middleton’s hockey team, which was thrilled to get back on the ice last month after COVID restrictions delayed the start of its season, found that out the hard way.

Reedsburg’s co-op team was playing its 18th game of the year when it met the Cardinals in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal on Feb. 2. Middleton, on the other hand, was playing just its second game of the season.

In the end, the Beavers’ two extra months of ice time paid immense dividends and Reedsburg posted a 4-1 win.

“Obviously not the result that we wanted, but I thought that the boys played hard,” Middleton first-year coach Dan Truehl said. “We got close a few times early, but just couldn’t find that first goal to settle us down and play from in front.”

The Cardinals were competitive throughout, but converted just one of their 31 shots on goal.

Reedsburg took a 1-0 lead with 42 seconds left in the first period, then made it 2-0 with just 3 minutes elapsed in the second period.

Middleton pulled within 2-1 on an even strength goal from Sean Ruhly and an assist from Brady Engelkes. But Reedsburg answered with two more goals before the period was up and the Cardinals couldn’t recover.

Cam Haynes finished with 37 saves for Middleton, while Cooper Oakes had 30 for the Beavers.

“As the game went on, the gameplay experience — or lack thereof for us — started to show and RWD took advantage of our mistakes and broke the game open,” Truehl said. “I’m so proud of this whole team for the way they’ve handled this year and Tuesday night was no different.”

Middleton has WIAA clearance to schedule a couple more games, and Truehl will try taking advantage of that.

“We’re hoping to schedule one or two more games this year to give the boys some more game action and our seniors a proper senior night,” he said.

And even though Middleton’s truncated season didn't end as anyone hoped, the Cardinals were happy for a chance to compete and build on some things for the future.

“We’ve talked a lot about living in the moment and not taking anything for granted,” Truehl said. “I think that message will continue to resonate over the summer and into next year.

“Our seniors led from the front and showed the rest of our guys what it takes to be successful. I know that our team will be mentally stronger, and battle tested next year and will be ready to roll when we kick things off in November.”

 

Feb. 2

REEDSBURG CO-OP 4, MIDDLETON 1

Middleton ………….. 0 0 1 — 1

Reedsburg co-op …….. 0 1 3 — 4

Second period — R: Brandt (Ely, Schyvinck), 16:18.

Third period — R: Slaght (DeMars), 2:56; M: Ruhly (Engelkes), 3:56; R: Brandt (Ely), 9:46 (pp); Brandt, 14:20.

 

 

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