With a 5-1 win over Middleton the Sun Prairie boys hockey team remained in the thick of the Big Eight Conference race.
The host Cardinals got two first-period goals to earn all the scoring advantage they needed, holding the visiting Cardinals to just one third-period goal at Sun Prairie Ice Arena Tuesday.
“It was a hard and physical game between two Cardinal teams,” said Sun Prairie interim head coach Troy Giesegh. “We got scoring from a variety of players. Five players had two points apiece and we had goals from five different players.”
Sun Prairie (11-5-0 overall, 8-2-0 Big Eight) remains 1 ½ games and two points behind Big Eight-leading Verona. Third-place Middleton (8-7-0, 5-3-0) fell eight points behind.
First-period goals by Tyler Rauls and Carter Watters gave Sun Prairie a 2-0 advantage. Rauls broke a scoreless tie at the 11 minute, 15 second mark on assists from Nick Johnson and Evan Luxford.
The SP lead grew to 2-0 when Watters found the net at 15:30, his Big Eight-leading 20th of the season. Conference points leader Kaden Brunson (40 points) and Davis Hamilton assisted.
Following a scoreless second period Johnson took advantage of a power-play situation connecting 22 seconds into the third period. Jake Veldkamp and Brunson assisted.
Power-play goals by Hamilton and Spencer Wessel increased the Sun Prairie lead to 5-0. Watters and Ryan Batterman assisted Hamilton, while Dominic Mariani and Veldkamp aided Wessel’s 10th goal of the season.
Senior goalie Alex Liegel defended his net with 26 saves to earn his seven win of the winter.
“Alex Liegel played strong in net and faced 28 shots.
Middleton goalie Noah Hogan saw a total of 51 shots come his way off Sun Prairie sticks.
SUN PRAIRIE 1
Sun Prairie hosted Madison Edgewood in a non-conference game Wednesday, but came up short at the LaBahn Arena on the UW-Madison campus.
The Crusaders (12-4-0), who lead the Badger South Conference with a 6-0-0 record, got a hat trick from sophomore forward Cody Menzel.
Batterman scored the Cardinals’ lone goal on a power play with 8:54 remaining. Johnson assisted.
Sophomore goalie Noah McCrary had 33 saves.
The Cardinals face Madison West (7-8-0, 5-4-0) in Big Eight play Saturday. The puck drops at Madison Ice Arena at 7:30 p.m.
SUN PRAIRIE 5, MIDDLETON 1
Middleton 0 0 1 — 1
Sun Prairie 2 0 3 — 5
First period: SP — T. Rauls (Johnson, Luxford), 11:15; Watters (Brunson, Hamilton), 15:30.
Second period: No scoring.
Third period: Johnson (Veldkamp, Brunson), :22; Hamilton (Watters, Batterman), 6:02 (pp); Wessel (Mariani, Veldkamp), 6:52 (pp); M — Inman (Kalscheur), 16:55 (pp).
Saves: M (Hogan) 46; SP (Liegel) 26.
MADISON EDGEWOOD 6
SUN PRAIRIE 1
Edgewood 0 5 6 — 5
Sun Prairie 0 0 1 — 1
First period: No scoring.
Second period: ME — Menzel (Wiebusch), 2:07; Smith (D. Lenz), 3:44; Menzel (Fink, N. Walker), 6:14; Moyes (Imhoff-Everlix), 7:44; Menzel (N. Walker), 11:19 (pp).
Third period: SP — Batterman (Johnson), 8:06 (pp); ME — D. Lenz (A. Lenz), 12:47.
Saves: ME (Z. Walker 19, Senke 2) 21; SP (McCrary) 33.