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Viroqua Co-op Hockey off to a great start


December 1, 2021

The Viroqua Area girl’s hockey team made their season debut last Saturday with an impressive 5-0 win on home ice over the visiting Wisconsin Valley Union, a seven-school coop hosted by Marshfield high-school.

The Viroqua coop team is comprised of athletes from Cashton, Westby, Youth-Initiative, and Laurel (a VHS charter school) and host Viroqua High Schools.

The two teams skated scoreless until late in the first period before Leonie Boettcher found the back of the net with just 1:28 left in the opening frame of an assist from junior defense skater Rhiannon Dehlin.

Boettcher wasted little time lighting the goal lamp again, just seven seconds later, on an un-assisted goal, lifting the Hawks to a 2-0 lead after the first 17 minutes.

Boettcher, a junior foreign ex-change student from Germany, attending Westby High-School, gave the Blackhawks a 3-0 advantage just 45 seconds into the second period, off an assist from defense skater Sylvi Shonka, a Laurel HS senior.

The Blackhawks extended the lead to 4-0 just 1:25 into the final period, when Boettcher made in a game to remember, scoring her fourth consecutive goal, with an assist from WHS junior forward Rachel Simonson.

Simonson closed out the scoring with a double-assist goal later in the final period, with helpers from WHS junior Gabby Olson and VHS junior Lydia Fry.

WHS sophomore Makenna Rudie earned the shutout win for the Blackhawks, recording 17 saves. It was Rudie’s 4th career shutout in her young varsity career.

The Blackhawks started fast and finished the game strong, outshooting The Union skaters 12-6 in the first period and 10-3 in the final frame in route to the win.

The win was most impressive when you consider the Union team is a coop of seven schools, including Amherst, Wisconsin Rapids Assumption, Athens, Stevens Point, Waupaca, Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln, and host Marshfield. The Union compete in the Eastern Shores Girls hockey conference.

“Our first line, consisting of Gabby, Rachel and Leonie, all Westby high school juniors, is pretty solid and contributed to all of our scoring,” commented head coach Paul Severson. “Leonie can shoot the puck like a sniper, and we should score some goals this season. If we continue to play solid “D”, we will be competitive,” added Severson, entering his 4th season at the helm of the Viroqua program. “Marayah Morrison, a Cashton HS sophomore defense skater, helped the Blackhawk defense to limit the Union to just 17 shots on goal and CHS freshmen Mateya Kaduc contributed considerable ice-time in the victory,” added Severson.

The Blackhawks hit the home ice again on Thursday Dec. 2 hosting Black River Falls, before closing out the three game homestand on Saturday Dec. 4, welcoming Beaver Dam to the Viroqua Community Arena.


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