MARINETTE – The M&M Thunder high school hockey team opened its season Friday night at the Community REC Center. The Thunder took on a talented Marquette High School team and fell by a final score of 6-0. Meanwhile the Thunder Bantam and Peewee teams had a full slate of games over the weekend.
The Thunder fell by a final score of 6-0 in their season opener against Marquette at the REC Center on Friday, but coach John Danielak felt the score was not indicative of the team’s play.
“Honestly, the score I wasn’t too concerned about,” Danielak said. “This Marquette team is a really good team. They do the fundamentals really well. They pass exceptionally, and you can tell they have been playing together for years because they know where each other is going to be. You can tell they have excellent chemistry.
“I thought our kids played really well. We’ve only had a few practices, but they hustled and looked pretty decent at times. Definitely some things to work on, which is what you want, but I thought they played pretty well for their first time out.”
The game was marred by 23 penalties including 13 calls against the Thunder while three of the six goals were scored on the power play.
Marquette’s Holden Hotter got the scoring started early and Connor Stade added a power play goal to make it 2-0 in the first period.
Tensions boiled over midway through the second period. Marquette had already added scores from Mason Aldrich and Owen Rendors when an on-ice scuffle caused a 15-minute delay in the proceedings. After much conferring the incident resulted in four ejections (two from each team) and play continued.
“The penalties definitely hurt us,” Danielak said. “Each ref is going to interpret the rules differently and our kids have to adapt to it. A couple of those checks were textbook checks, but we don’t want kids getting hurt so the refs are going to err on the side of caution.”
In the third period, three more Thunder penalties resulted in two more Marquette goals to cap the scoring at 6-0.
“We controlled it a lot in their zone and had a lot of opportunities,” Danielak said. “We do need to take some more shots.”
Marquette outshot the Thunder 24-18 for the game.
“A couple weeks ago, we weren’t even sure we were going to have a season,” Danielak said. “We got a lot of kids back that had left the organization in the last couple of years or didn’t play for whatever reason. To have this many kids, we have fourteen skaters, is pretty awesome, and I’m excited for the season.”
The same two teams played a scrimmage at the REC Saturday morning, with Marquette prevailing 11-4. Adam Lemery netted a pair of goals in that contest while Mason Denny and Mason Boivin also scored.
The Thunder will host Verona in a doubleheader at the Community REC Center on Saturday. Game one is scheduled for an 11:00 a.m. start.
The Thunder Bantam team split a pair of games against Fox Valley Saturday at the REC taking game one 6-4 before falling 6-2 in game two. On Sunday they traveled to Waupaca, suffering a 6-1 loss in game one before salvaging a 4-4 draw in game two
In game one against Fox Valley, both teams netted a pair of goals in each of the first two periods.
The Thunder got a goal from Caiden Radtke, assisted by Chase Nerat, to tie the game at 1-1 and then pushed ahead with a goal from Blue Haley.
The Blades tied the game near the end of the first period, but Radtke scored again, this time with an assist from Haley in the second period.
Fox Valley tied the game with a goal form Michael Huguet and then took a 4-3 lead with a strike from Alex Dorans. However, just seconds after Doran’s goal, Haley tied the game with an assist from Damien Winterbottom.
A shorthanded goal from Brayden Rounds, assisted by Haley, put the Thunder ahead for good early in the third period, and Avery Waloway capped the scoring with assists from Winterbottom and Rounds.
Ethan King faced 24 shots and made 20 saves to pick up the win in goal.
After overcoming eight penalties in game-one, seven more penalties caught up to the Thunder in game two.
Radtke again started the scoring this time off an assist from Haley nine minutes into the first period. In the second period, an unassisted goal from Haley tied the game at 2-2.
Fox Valley then ripped off four unanswered goals in the final period while the Thunder spent a combined 10:30 in the penalty box.
Katie Olson made 24 saves in the contest while the Thunder were outshot 30-26.
On Saturday, the Thunder struggled in game one against Waupaca. Winterbottom netted their lone goal in a 6-1 loss while King made 34 saves and was under duress throughout the contest.
In game two, Radkte scored in the opening seconds of the game with assists from Addison Lacy and Natalie Sparpanic. Haley and Chase Linsmeier (assisted by Logan Sakovitz and Willow Burke) added goals to give the Thunder a 3-0 cushion in the first period.
Penalties piled up against the Thunder as they were called for nine infractions, and Waupaca chipped away at the deficit with two goals in the second period.
Waloway assisted a Winterbottom goal that made it 4-2 heading into the final frame. The Comets inched to within a goal at 4-3 and then benefited from a questionable hooking call with 1:30 to play that led to a game-tying power-play goal.
Olson made 24 saves to hold the draw.
The Thunder will return to the ice when they open their home tournament with a game against Sheboygan on Friday, December 3.
The Thunder Peewee team dropped a pair of games against Marquette’s Junior A team at the REC Center on Saturday, and two more against Fox Valley on Sunday.
On Saturday, the Wildcats won with scores of 9-1 and 9-0.
Chuckie Bird scored the lone Thunder goal on the day. Grace Loomis made 71 saves on the day including a whopping 44 in game one.
On Sunday, the Blades won with scores of 7-0 and 14-1.
Bird again had the lone goal with an assist from Wes Baty, while Loomis totaled 40 saves.
The Peewees will return to action on Sunday when they travel to Oshkosh for a pair of games beginning at noon.