Bluebirds fall short of state
DELAFIELD The Stoughton High School boys hockey team entered WIAA postseason play as the second-ranked team in the state.
Friday night, the Janesville Bluebirds found out why.
The Vikings, behind another stellar performance from goalie Andrew Martin, blanked the Bluebirds, 3-0, in the Division 1 sectional final game here at Nagawaukee Ice Arena.
Stoughton (21-1-1) led 2-0 after one period, and then relied on an air-tight defense and the stick and glove of Martin to earn a state tournament berth. Martin stopped all 37 shots he faced.
Stoughton will play the winner of today’s Superior-Hudson game in the first round of the state tournament.
Janesville’s high school co-op team (17-6) was shut out for the first time all season, and could not find a kink in Martin’s armor.
“For whatever reason, they outhustled us and were hungrier than we were,” Janesville coach John Mauermann said.
“And to be effective against Andrew, you have to make him move and we didn’t. Every save he made was right in front of him.”
Stoughton got on the board first with Janesville’s Logan Lemirande in the penalty box. The Vikings’ Cody Larson re-directed Jacob Howell’s initial shot past goalie David Jacobson for a 1-0 lead at 6:50 of the first. The Bluebirds tried to get out of the opening period without any further damage, but Riley Zehner took advantage of a Janesville miscue deep in its own end. Zehner picked up a loose puck and slapped a shot past Jacobson with a minute left in the first.
Martin said the 2-0 advantage paid big dividends.
“You could tell in the lockerroom before the game that we were pretty tense and nervous,” Martin said. “After getting two goals in the first, it lightened the mood in the lockerroom and made us realize that we could play with Janesville.
“We knew they wanted to rush the puck with their forwards and play pond hockey. But our defense got a body on them or a stick on the puck, and that made the view in front of me pretty clear all game.”
Jacobson stood on his head in the second period. The Janesville Parker senior kept his team in the game despite being down two men.
Stoughton was 5-on-3 for 1:50 after Ross Mauermann was assessed a questionable 10-minute misconduct penalty with Bentley Geldard already in the penalty box for the Bluebirds. Jacobson made six saves during the 5-on-3, including a sprawling glove save off the stick of Larson.
Larson got the last laugh in the third period as he put an end to any comeback hopes for the Bluebirds with his second goal of the night.
With Janesville trying to stay on the offensive, Larson stole an errant pass at center ice, skated in on Jacobson, and slipped a shot past him for a 3-0 lead with 6:42 gone in the third.
Ross Mauermann returned to the ice with 11:46 left to play, but the Mr Hockey finalist was frustrated all game like his teammates by Martin’s play in the net.
“They beat us to the puck all game,” coach Mauermann said. “Even when we ran the play like we wanted to, they beat us to the corner or up the ice.
“We took a couple of penalties early and they got a goal. When we got them in the box, we couldn’t score. It was one of those nights.”
STOUGHTON 3, JANESVILLE 0
Janesville 0 0 0—0
Stoughton 2 0 1—3
S—Cody Larson (Jacob Howell), 6:50 (pp). S—Riley Zehner (J. Howell, Eric Howell), 16:00.
Larson (J. Howell), 6:42.
Saves—David Jacobson (J) 37; Andrew Martin (S) 37.