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Beloit Memorial Boys Hockey Team Splits Opening Two Games
BELOIT—Junior forward Max Allen figures there are going to be plenty of skeptics about the improvement of Beloit Memorial’s boys hockey team.
They’re even going to have to convince themselves at times.
Saturday, for instance. After dispatching Viroqua with ease on Friday 9-1, the Purple Knights struggled for two periods against Monroe in the championship game of their Thanksgiving Tournament at Edwards Ice Arena.
Despite a strong third period, Beloit lost 5-3 to the Cheesemakers.
“We waited two periods to work hard,” Beloit head coach James Hoey said. “They outworked us and were more physical the first two periods.”
Physicality was not really the young Knights’ forte in finishing 4-18-0 a year ago. But that’s an area they expect to show the most gains this year.
“We did a lot of off-ice training to prepare for the season,” said Allen, who had three goals and three assists against Viroqua.
“We ran hills. We were in the weight room a lot. Personally, I did some stuff with fall hockey to get ready. I think we developed some strength and we developed some team bonding, too.”
It showed against Viroqua, although too many penalties explained a slow start. Beloit led only 1-0 after one period on the first of Payton Whalen’s two goals.
“After that, we moved a couple of guys around and scored a couple quick goals,” Hoey said. “But we were still in the (penalty) box too much the first two periods. When we finally got a power play and we moved the puck around and set it up and put it in. That was good to see.”
In spite of the penalties, the Knights began flexing their muscles early in the second period, scoring three goals in the first 2 minutes and 21 seconds. They had four in the period and tacked on four more in the third period.
“It was nice to get a win right away and get that monkey off our back,” Hoey said. “A number of guys put in a lot of hard work in the off-season and it’s nice to see that pay off.
“We had a number of players come up big. Max had a great game. Cole (Rowald) had two goals. Max’s brother Marcus starts as a freshman on defense and he played smart and moved the puck well. Payton (Whalen) had five points and his hockey IQ is high. He knows how to set guys up.”
Jayden Piccione and Nathan Anastasi also had goals for the Knights. Viroqua goalie Cooper Miller (58 saves) had nearly as many saves in the third period (22) as Beloit’s Jameson Flanagan had in the game (23).
Saturday, the penalties returned as Beloit was whistled for 11, matching the Cheesemakers’ total. That certainly made it more difficult for the Knights to rally from a 5-1 deficit.
“We couldn’t stay out of the box for two periods,” Hoey said. “The third period was better. We finally woke up and started playing as a team.”
Beloit got goals from Piccione, Sam Rowald and Cole Rowald. Flanagan had 46 saves.
Allen said the Knights don’t expect to be pushovers for anyone in the Big Eight
“Last year we got blown out by teams like Middleton and Sun Prairie,” Allen said. “I think this year we’ll surprise them out of the gate. They’re not going to expect us to be any better than last year, but I think we’ll be more physical and more intense and should surprise them.”
The Knights open Big Eight play at Verona on Friday.
Friday Beloit 9, Viroqua 1
Viroqua…0 1 0—1
Beloit……1 4 4—5
FIRST PERIOD: BM, Whalen (Max Allen), 1:59.
SECOND PERIOD: BM, Piccione (Max Allen), :44 (sh); BM, Allen (Whalen, Mar. Allen), 1:13; V, Starr (Dahl, Simonson), 1:35; BM, C. Rowald (unassisted), 2:21; BM, Max Allen (Whalen, Fiebig), 10:05 (pp).
THIRD PERIOD: BM, Whalen (Juhl, Piccione), 4:04; BM, Anastasi (Walenga), 4:37; BM, C. Rowald (Whalen, Mar. Allen), 6:55 (pp); BM, Max Allen (unassisted), 15:58.
Saves: V, Miller 18-18-22-58; BM, Flanagan 7-11-5-23. Penalties: V 3, BM 8.
Saturday Monroe 5, Beloit 3
Monroe…3 2 0—5
Beloit…...1 1 1—3
FIRST M, PERIOD: M, Janecke (Barker), 8:48; M, Janecke (Roth), 11:00; BM, Piccione (Whalen), 14:45; Janecke (unassisted), 14:50.
SECOND PERIOD: M, Barker (Bodensein), 2:35; M, Janecke (Bodensein), 8:11 (sh); BM, S. Rowald (Max Allen), 16:59.
THIRD PERIOD: BM, C. Rowald (Piccione, Whalen), 10:13.
Saves: M, Obert 16-5-17-38; BM, Flanagan 13-22-11-46. Penalties: M 11, BM 11.