Thunder wins state tourney opener
Next up: Milwaukee SHAW today
Saturday, March 18, 2017 12:00 AM
MCFARLAND, Wis. — The M&M Thunder did what it needed, and then coasted to a 6-0 victory over Verona in the opening round of the Wisconsin Amateur Hockey Association Midget 18-and-under state tournament Friday night.
After a slow start, the Thunder coaches got the players’ attention, and they took a 3-0 lead into the first intermission.
“The first few shifts were really slow,” coach John Mans said. “We always start slowly. We started moving the puck better. We really stepped up midway through the first period.”
The Thunder added three goals early in the second period, then worked on puck control with a running clock.
“Once we got six goals we knew we had a running clock and we didn’t need to run up and score 12 goals or anything like that,” Mans said.
Defenseman Adam Wahl led the Thunder with two goals.
“He was good tonight, and that was really the difference,” Mans said.
Justin Netemeyer, Jeremiah Philipps, Mitchell Banaszak and Aiden Bohaczek each scored a goal for the Thunder. Goalie John Horn had the uncommon feat of making an assist. Jason Bruning, Wahl and Carson Lovedale each had an assist.
“Their goalie was good up high, and we beat him down low,” Mans said.
Banaszak, Nick Kehoe and Bohaczek were moved back to defense. The team played six defensemen and three lines so that everyone is well-rested for today’s 2 p.m. second-round game against Milwaukee SHAW.
Horn made about 15 saves.
“Horn made the saves he had to make,” according to Mans. “He played well. The opportunities they got were pretty decent opportunities.”
SHAW advanced in Friday’s first game with a 3-1 win over Milwaukee Area Youth. Today’s Thunder/SHAW winner advances to Sunday’s 2 p.m. state title game. The Thunder is the two-time defending state champion.
“For the first game at a state tournament I’m very happy,” Mans said. “They outworked the other team.”