Thursday, December 23, 2010

High School Hockey Showdown Tonight

We don't cover Wisconsin high school hockey very often on this site but we make exceptions for things like the State Tournament and big high school games.

Tonight's match up between Eau Claire Memorial and Wausau West certainly qualifies as a big game. In fact, it's about as big as it gets for a regular season game. #2 ranked Eau Claire Memorial rides into Wausau to take on the #1 ranked West Warriors.

Last season these two teams had three outstanding battles. Memorial got the best of West in a shootout in a tournament at the start of the year (went down as a tie due to WIAA rules). West took the second battle when they won 3-2 on the road in Eau Claire. The Warriors would win the rubber match at the state tournament in overtime, catapulting them into the state championship game.

Wausau West has been #1 all season long and has done nothing to prove the voters wrong. They are 7-0 and averaging over 6 goals per game and giving up just over 2. Legendary coach Pete Susans is sitting on 499 victories and you know his team would love nothing more than to get 500 against the #2 ranked team in the state.

Offensively the Warriors are led by Kyle Lee and Garrett Clemment. The pair have combined for over half of the goals for West this season. Defensively a player to watch is sophomore John Feemster. In goal look for Austin Priebe, a big kid who covers a lot of the net.

Memorial started the season #5 in the state but have worked their way up to #2 with impressive victories over Arrowhead and Superior. They are converting at an impressive 35% on the power play.

Alexander Dahl and Hunter Scott lead the Old Abes up front. Dahl, the younger brother of Badger freshman Jefferson, is fifth in the state in scoring. Sophomore defenseman Michael Kapla is averaging two points per game. In the net senior Saxton Soley is playing at a very high level.

Basically what I'm getting at is if you have some free time tonight, make the trek over to Marathon Park in Wausau to catch a battle between two of the states elite programs. Game time is 7:15, get there early to grab a good seat.

chuckschwartz@live.com
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