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Waldorf Hockey VS Mason City Bulls

By: Dylan Thomas

Waldorf Warriors hockey team faced off against North Iowa Bulls of the North American Tier 3 Hockey League (NA3HL), September 13. The NA3HL is a junior ice hockey league that consists of 47 teams in 21 states.

There were high expectations going into the game due to the two teams only being 30 minutes apart, but never having played each other. The Bulls also had also won the national championship back to back years in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Senior Jeremy Navarro thinks the Warriors “have always been thought of as second best in the Northern Iowa area, so to play a team that was viewed as better as [us] amped up the anticipation.” It was an exhibition game, having no effect on either team’s standing in their respective leagues, but was a test for one another’s seasons.

The game started off with the Bulls scoring a goal in the first seven minutes of the game. Warriors match that point just five minutes later by Freshman Josh Gouin. A short three minutes later with four minutes and 27 seconds left of the first period, Bulls scored another point, ending that period 2-1. The second period started off with Freshman Braedan Pearce scoring a point just a brief five minutes in, evening out the score 2-2. Navarro then followed up with another point ten minutes after. Two minutes later, the Bulls answered with one point with three minutes and 15 seconds left in the second period, ending that period 3-3.

The third period was a back and forth battle between both teams, ending in no change in the score. The first overtime starts off at sudden death with five minutes on the clock. The first team to score would’ve won and both of the teams did not scored any points. At the end of a five minute overtime period, sudden-death come into play, and both teams face off in a shootout. Freshman Jeff Veitch played as the Warriors goalkeeper in the shootout. As highly stressful as the situation could have been, Veitch “likes to play under pressure.”

“Playing under pressure makes [me] forget about everything else, and [I] can focus on the moment at hand,” Veitch explained.

Veitch also added that “there is no preparation for a shootout, [I] just had to deal with the situation thrown at me.” In the second round of the shoot out, Sean Teske scores against the Bulls, but the Bulls retaliate against the Warriors evening out the score once against. On the fifth round of the shoot out, Senior Matt Liggett scores against the Bulls, ending a very nerve racking game, 4-3. Smith comments on the outcome of the game that “the Bulls weren’t aware that we would be competition or realized how good we actually were.” “This could actually open the door to potentially gaining some of those Bulls players which has never happened before

“Winning the game really showed what we could do. We started the game with injured players, and a short bench in general, but we came together and overcame adversity,” Navarro exclaimed.