MOSINEE The Central Wisconsin Storm have reached the WIAA state girls hockey tournament the past five years, and after winning 20 wins of 22 regular season games, the defending champions are among the favorites to be playing in Madison in the first weekend of March again.
If the Storm are feeling any pressure, it didn’t show Thursday in a 12-0 rout of an overmatched Tomahawk team in a regional title game at the Mosinee Recreation Center. The top-seeded Storm scored four times in the opening 5 minutes, 40 seconds, and junior forward Ashley Zacho had a hat trick in a six-goal first period against a Tomahawk team that was missing two defensemen.
“We have a lot of pressure on us and a target on our back. We have five state appearances and everyone kind of puts that pressure on us,” said senior co-captain Kylie Gazzolo, who finished with two goals and an assist. “We just come as a team thinking its just another game and ready to play as hard as we can.”
Tomahawk was without defensemen Jordan Parker-Calhoun, who had to sit out for an altercation in a game last week, and sophomore Nicole Nerva, who suffered a foot injury last weekend, leaving sophomore Erika Vallier as the only experienced defenseman. The Storm exploited the opportunity and carried play in the Tomahawk zone for the majority of the night. Tomahawk goalie Chelsea Garinger made 21 saves in both the first and second period and finished with 53 saves. Storm goalie Lisa Fowle had three saves in the shutout win.
First period: 1. CW, Ashley Zacho (Arielle Riedel), 2:25. 2. CW, Kylie Gazzolo (Savannah Felch, Kelly Knetter), 2:35. 3. CW, Knetter, 5:21. 4. CW, Knetter (Claire Poirier), 5:40. 5. CW, Ashley Zacho (Michaela Zingler, Megan Marlowe), 11:25. 6. Zacho (Marissa Matushak), 14:02.
Second period: 7. CW, Gazzolo (Knetter), 8:52 (pp). 8. CW, Matushak (Gazzolo), 9:40. 9. CW, Alex Guenther (Poirier, Kenize Schmidt), 14:28.
Third period: 10. CW, Emilee Mytinger (Arielle Riedel), 1:42. 11. CW, Matushak (Felch, Zingler), 5:03. 12. CW, Schmidt (Isabelle Uhi-Chmiel), 13:08.
Saves: Tomahawk, Chelsea Garinger 21-21-11-53; Central Wisconsin, Lisa Fowle 2-1-0-3.
Records: Central Wisconsin 21-1-1, Tomahawk 4-20.