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Western Wisconsin Stars outshined in tournament title game

The Western Wisconsin Stars reached the championship game in Saturday’s tournament in Wisconsin Rapids, but they were outshined by Fox Cities in the title battle.

The Stars, the girls hockey co-op based in New Richmond, beat the cooperative team from Wisconsin Rapids and Stevens Point in the opening round of the tournament, 4-2. Fox Cities advanced to the title game by dealing Hudson its first loss of the season.

The Stars weren’t at their brightest in the first two periods of the title game, falling behind 2-0. They made a charge in the third period, but lost the game 3-2.

Senior Bailey Erickson kept up her torrid scoring pace, tallying the Stars’ first three goals against Point-Rapids.  She scored the only goal of the first period, converting off assists from Alli Wielinski and Gabby Kupke.

The Stars built the lead 3-0 with Erickson’s two second period goals. The second of those goals came with 39 seconds left in the period, off a feed from defenseman Ashley Dusek.

Point-Rapids tried to make a comeback in the third period, ending the shutout with a goal at the 2:16 mark. The Stars reacted decisively, with Wielinski scoring 20 seconds later to return the lead to three goals.

Goalie Tina Montpetit got the win for the Stars, stopping 35 of 37 shots she faced. Tiger coach Emily Dabrowski said Montpetit played both games Saturday despite being ill.

Montpetit was the only reason the Stars were still in contention after two periods in the championship game. Fox Cities had outshot the Stars 20-8 in those periods, but only led 2-0.

“That’s Tina. She kept us in the game,” Dabrowski said.

Wielinski scored a minute into the third period to get the Stars started, but Fox Cities scored on the power play at the 2:54 mark. The Stars stayed on the attack, with Erickson scoring with 10:50 left in regulation.

The Stars did score a tying goal, but it was waved off by the officials. The Fox Cities goalie lost her glove on the play. This year that results in an automatic stoppage of play, which wiped out the Stars’ goal.

The Stars will be back on the road this Thursday, facing the WSFLG Blizzard in Siren. The Stars play in New Richmond next Monday, when the St. Croix Valley Fusion visits.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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