Senior Jack McGinn is a quiet, somewhat bashful young man off the ice for the McFarland High School boys hockey team. On the ice, he is a hard-nosed competitor who understands this is his final season with the Spartans and he wants to make the best of it.
McGinn certainly pulled together a memorable game Tuesday, Jan. 21, when McFarland hosted Monona Grove in the annual Waubesa Cup game. He scored a three-goal hat trick as the Spartans pounded the Silver Eagles 9-2. It was a little over a year ago when McGinn scored four goals to account for all Spartan scoring in a 4-1 win over Oregon. Scoring three against MG with the coveted Waubesa Cup on the line was even more special.
“It feels real good to be able to perform in a game like that,” said McGinn, who raised his goal total to 10 this season.
He put McFarland on the board eight minutes into the first period off an assist from Grant Newcomer and recorded his second goal at 4:38 of the second period with Newcomer and Jack Bartzen getting the helpers.After the Spartans were called for two offsetting minor penalties giving MG a two-skater advantage for two minutes, Bartzen worked his way toward Silver Eagles goalie Andrew Gilbertson and flipped a shot past him to put McFarland ahead 3-0 with 9:06 to play in the second period.
“We were three on five and caught a break, and we capitalized on it,” McFarland head coach Nick Tuma said about the short-handed goal.
Monona Grove head coach Dave Kinsler agreed the Spartans got lucky.
“They get a lucky chip off the end wall, get a rush and score a short-handed goal,” Kinsler said. “They got a lucky break and good for them.”
Twenty-six seconds later, Brandon Churches tallied MG’s first goal on the power play as he slid the puck past McFarland netminder Gus Hoel off assists from Ethan Johnson and Max Unitan.
The Silver Eagles hopes for a comeback were put to rest as Newcomer found the back of the net off a Bartzen assist, and McGinn scored his third goal off assists from Bartzen and Newcomer to the Spartans ahead 5-1 after two periods.
“McGinn was open and in the right spots. Bartzen was working hard down low and feeding him the puck,” Newcomer said. “The team was working hard in the corners and doing the dirty work.”
McFarland scored four more times in the third period with Max Binger getting two goals, and Payton Hauge and Simeon Pommerening getting the others. Churches added his second goal of the night off a Sebastian Karns-Bingham assist.
Aside from McGinn’s three goals, Binger and Bartzen had three assists, Newcomer had two and Pommerening, Hauge and Cal DeChambeau each had one. Gilbertson faced 47 shots for MG and saved 38. Hoel and backup Jaden Devous shared goaltending for the Spartans and combined to make 12 saves. Kinsler sounded optimistic after the game and said the Silver Eagles just didn’t get enough lucky bounces.
“They scored two power-play goals by just catching the inside pipe. They scored three goals from us being 8-12 inches off being in the right coverage,” Kinsler said. “We still have 12 games left, and we’re about halfway through our season. We have to get a few more pucks bounce our way, use a little more effort and good things will happen.”