For more reasons than just the scoreboard, Saturday was a big day for the Waunakee boys’ hockey team.
The Warriors hosted Menomonie Saturday afternoon at the Ice Pond in their Eighth Annual Hockey Fights Cancer – Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Night.
“The community, the parents, everybody has been affected by cancer,” said Waunakee’s Head Coach Eric Olson. “I’m glad that our community and our hockey family came together to help fight this brutal disease.”
“The boys have raised over $1,200… Then, we did a bake sale and raffle; we have another $1,200 dollars. That’s what we’ve raised,” said event organizer Tara Dull. “And then we have two matching sponsors: Carl F. Statz & Sons and the family of Sarah Thompson.”
All told, Waunakee managed to raise over $5,000 dollars for the event in addition to getting a lopsided victory over the Mustangs.
The scoring came early and often for the Warriors. With an early power play opportunity, Waunakee netted the game’s first goal just four minutes after the puck dropped, getting a score by Drew Christianson from Steven Pasinato and Isaac Nett.
Power plays proved to be a boost for the Warriors throughout the game; Waunakee scored four of their 10 goals on the power play, while holding the Mustangs scoreless on their four power play chances.
“We work on it a lot…” Olson said of Waunakee’s special teams. “The boys executed tonight. It was nice to see; they really did a nice job.”
Before the first period was over, the Warriors netted goals from Mac Reed, Devin Stewart and Tyler Hoffman to take a 4-0 lead into the second.
Once in the second, Menomonie briefly made a push for a comeback. The Mustangs scored just 54 seconds into the period to make it a 4-1 game.
A pair of Mustang penalties – including a 5-minute major – allowed Waunakee to rack up three more power play goals, ending any comeback hopes for the Mustangs. –Christianson, Logan Burgard and Alex Dull each scored to put Waunakee up 7-1 midway through the period.
“I call it all-you-can-eat,” said Olson of the 5-minute penalty on Menomonie. “It’s a buffet; you can keep on scoring and make them pay. That’s what we did.”
With just under three minutes to go in the second period, Christianson completed his hat trick, putting the Warriors up 8-1 on an assist from Reed.
In goal, Ben Luebke was on top his game, stopping 22 of the 23 shots sent his way in the first two periods, allowing Waunakee’s offense to build their monumental lead.
“Ben Luebke stood up strong,” Olson added. “He’s been really good.”
With a running clock in place, a quick third period resulted in two more goals for the Warriors. Nett and Pasinato each found the back of the net, giving the game its final score of 10-1.
Luebke racked up another five saves in the third period to finish with 27 in the game.
With the win, Waunakee upped their record to 2-2 on the season; the Warriors will open their Badger North schedule on Tuesday, when they travel to Beaver Dam to take on the Golden Beavers. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7 p.m. in Beaver Dam.