This past weekend the Ice Wolves Girls U14 team played host to the Janesville J-Hawks boys Peewee C team for their last league game of the season. The game was a rematch of a hard fought game that ended up being a loss for the Dodgeville girls earlier in the season. The Ice Wolves came in ready for a fierce battle and that's exactly what they got.
From the opening faceoff it was clear that Janesville was also ready for an old-school, knock-down, drag-out affair, and early on the referees let the teams play. After a lot of back-and-forth action the Ice Wolves would strike first. After taking a pass from McKenna Bowers, Madeline Williams fired a shot on net. The goal tender made the initial save but Williams followed her shot and banged the rebound into the net. The J-Hawks came back strong and got their first goal of the game moments later to tie the game at one. The Girls would get the next two entries on the score sheet. First was a roughing penalty resulting from aggressive play on the puck. The Hawks looked to capitalize on the advantage but, instead, ended up giving up a short handed goal when Bowers tapped in a rebound off a shot by Ryan James. Thirty seconds later the game was again tied, as Janesville managed to squeak a shot into the Wolves goal.
They would carry that momentum into the second period and score less than a minute after the faceoff to take the lead, but that's all the Ice Wolves would give them. As the game wore on things intensified and the referees were forced to tighten things up. After calling only one penalty in the first period they would make seven calls in the final two, most for roughing and all but two on Janesville. While Janesville seemed to lose their composure the Girls did a better job of maintaining theirs, and did a great job not getting caught up in a lot of extra pushing and shoving after the whistle. Keeping their cool paid off as the Wolves were able to work the puck into the offensive zone and set up for a number of good shots. Destiny Rothenbueler eventually gathered in a rebound and put it past the goal tender to tie the game up. James and Grace Montague each earned an assist on the play.
The last few minutes of the game saw relentless play from both teams. Goalies at both ends of the ice faced repeated flurries of shots and pile-ups in front of the nets. With just over three minutes remaining Williams put the Wolves on top, assisted again by Bowers. The Hawks then really turned up the pressure, but Allison Esch was there to block every shot, including several loose pucks that came to rest within inches of being over the goal line. Janesville pulled their goalie to put out an extra attacker but then took a penalty that put them back at five skaters. With the last three seconds ticking off the clock a Janesville player was able to get the puck at center ice and skate it into the zone. He fired a shot that ended up going in the net, very briefly stopping about three dozen hearts. As it turned out, the puck went in because Esch was skating out of the net with her arms and stick raised in the air. She was the only one that had heard the buzzer sound over the roar of the crowd and therefore knew the game was over. Once that realization hit the crowd, another eruption ensued, leaving bewildered seismologists all over the Midwest wondering what was going on. What they didn't know was that the Ice Wolves Girls U14 teams had just earned their first team victory of the season over the Janesville J-Hawks. Final score: 4-3 in favor of the Home team.