Junior Luke Hessenauer scored two first period goals and senior Luke Grote racked up 31 saves as the Milton boys hockey team earned a 4-1 victory versus Madison La Follette/East Friday, Nov. 22, in a non-conference game at the Mandt Center in Stoughton.
“We came out and flew around that first period, really controlling the puck and the pace from the start,” Milton head coach Steve Zartman said. “Hess scored twice for us, but we really had a number of quality chances. We were winning races to loose pucks and doing a nice job of getting the puck to the net.”
Hessenauer’s first goal came off an assist from Mitchell Masters with 11:12 left in the first period. Hessenauer found the back of the net again at the 5:39 mark with an unassisted goal.
“Luke took them by surprise on a couple of rushes in the first and set the tone for us,” Zartman said. “They did a nice job of locking him down in the next two periods, but that really opened up opportunities for some others.”
After a scoreless second period, the Red Hawks made it 3-0 thanks to a score from sophomore Gannon Kligora. Mason Pustaeri and Tyler Ellis were both credited with assists on the score.
Storm Cook capped off Milton’s scoring with 6:15 left in the game. Masters and Tyler Gilberston were awarded assists on the score.
“As happy as we were as coaches with our play in the first period, we were equally as disappointed with how we came out in the second,” Zartman said. “Just a poor effort all around. Luckily, the kids were able to right the ship and put a couple more on the board.”
Grote and the Red Hawk defense kept the Lakers scoreless until the 3:33 minute mark in the third period. Grote collected 31 saves in the victory, including a 14-save second period and a big save down the stretch of the second.
“When we took the second period off, Luke (Grote) stopped everything they threw at him,” Zartman said. “He looked real strong when anything that got by him would’ve put them right back in the game. He stonewalled a point-blank chance with seconds left in the second period that could have completely changed the game.”
Milton wore camo jerseys to honor current and former members of the armed services at the game.
The Red Hawks (1-0) will play in the Beloit Memorial Tournament Friday, Nov. 29, and Saturday, Nov. 30, at Edwards Ice Arena in Beloit. Play starts at 3:30 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. on Saturday.
“Overall we are real pleased with where we are at right now,” Zartman said. “But there’s more than a few things we need to iron out. We’ll take things one game at a time and try and continue to improve.”