The Milton boys hockey team led in two of three games last week — and took two games to overtime — but had no wins to show for it.
Milton was defeated by Oregon on senior night, 2-1, in a Badger South game Monday, Feb. 10, at the Mandt Center in Stoughton.
Three days earlier, McFarland beat Milton, 4-3, in overtime in a conference game on Friday, Feb. 7, at the Mandt Center.
The Red Hawks started off their week with a 3-3 tie against Monroe Tuesday, Feb. 4, in a conference game in Monroe.
Milton also found out its opening-round playoff match with the release of the WIAA tournament brackets. The No. 11-seeded Red Hawks will play No. 6-seeded Whitefish Bay Feb. 18 in a WIAA Division 1 regional at the Kern Center in Milwaukee at 8 p.m.
Against Oregon, Milton (5-16-1 1-9 Badger South) led 1-0 going into the final period, but the Panthers scored two goals within the first seven minutes of the period to take a 2-1 lead.
The two early third-period goals from Oregon would be the last of the game.
Junior Luke Hessenauer scored Milton’s only goal of the game in the first period off an assist from sophomore Gannon Kligora.
McFarland 4, Milton 3 (OT)
The Red Hawks led twice against the Spartans, first at 1-0 with an opening-game goal from sophomore Tyler Ellis. Sophomore Mitchell Masters was credited with an assist.
After an equalizer from McFarland, Ellis gave Milton a 2-1 lead in the second period. This time it was Kligora with the assist. The Spartans equalized again at 2-2 and took the lead with a third-period goal.
With less than seven minutes remaining, Masters tied the game at 3-3 with a score assisted by Ellis.
Grant Newcomer scored less than five minutes into the overtime period to end the game, 4-3, McFarland.
“That’s another tough loss right there. Kinda hard to be upset about it, we played a great game from start to finish,” Milton head coach Steve Zartman said. “I’m really proud of how the boys played tonight.”
Senior goalie Luke Grote ended with 45 saves for Milton.
“Eller and Mitchell are going to show up as the names on the score sheet, but everyone skated their tails off,” Zartman said. “It looked like McFarland took us for granted early and ended up in a dogfight.”
Milton 3, Monroe 3 (OT)
Monroe scored twice in the first period, but Milton tied the game at 2-2 with a pair of scores in the second.
Sophomore Mason Pusateri made it 2-1 with 7 minutes, 52 seconds into the second period and Kligora equalized with a goal 14:48 into the second.
Both goals were power plays.
The Cheesemakers took the lead with a goal 6:50 into the third period, but Milton equalized for the third time with a score from Pusateri.
The overtime-period featured no goals.
“Not our best game wire to wire, because quite frankly, we stunk it up in the first period,” Zartman said. “But we played as well as we’ve played all year in those last two periods.”
Grote racked up 53 saves in the draw.
Milton played Oregon in a Badger South finale on Tuesday, Feb. 11, but results were not available by publication time. The Red Hawks end regular season play with a non-conference away game against DeForest on Thursday, Feb. 13.
“We’re playing our best hockey of the year right now,” Zartman said. “Hopefully, we can close out some of these close games down the stretch.”