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Monticello Moose climb to the top of the conference

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Back in the beginning of January the Moose took on North Branch in a 3-1 victory. On Friday, Feb. 7 the Moose defeated North Branch 7-1 and took the title of conference champions.

The Moose Hockey team also teamed up with Just Drive to bring awareness to the deadly epidemic of distracted driving. The Just Drive organization recently added a banner to the arena wall to encourage safe driving.

Amy LaVallee and her Just Drive team were giving away various items, the fans were wearing orange, the youth hockey teams wore Just Drive jerseys for the Moose to sign, and the hockey team had orange tape on their sticks.

“We are very appreciative of the hockey teams support of Just Drive,” LaVallee said.

Monticello went undefeated in the Mississippi 8 conference earning a very special win on Friday.

Nash Wilson, the Monticello goalie, was overjoyed about his teams win.

“It feels great,” Wilson said. “It was a team effort and going into sections it’s awesome to know we’re getting better every day.”

Though this is an exciting feat, Head Coach Eric Nelson is focusing on the bigger picture.

“It’s a good win, but we need to keep our wits,” Coach Nelson said. “Step one accomplished, but to me that’s not the prize, the prize is the section championship.”

Moving forward, Coach Nelson summed up how the Moose are going to be successful heading into section play.

“We need to be consistent, battle ready, and make our game as simple as we can,” Coach Nelson said.

To start the game on Friday, North Branch scored their one and only goal for the night.

Tucker Sachs scored for the Vikings and from then on Wilson put a lock on the net.

Gavin Brooks started the run for the Moose scoring five minutes into the first period.

Brian Cornelius scored just three minutes later and Riley Ronayne scored two minutes after that with the assist coming from Chase Bocken – 11 minutes into the first period.

The score was 3-1 wrapping up the period.

To kick off the second period Brooks scored his second goal of the night. Wilson Dahlheimer looked and passed to Gunnar Sibley, Sibley then passed it to Brooks, and Brooks sent it straight to the net with even strength.

With not even a minute left on the clock Dahlheimer scored a goal, finishing out the second period with a score of 5-1.

The Monticello offense was running like a well-oiled machine.

“We had a lot of zone time and a lot of shot opportunities, so we need to keep that up throughout the season.”

In the third period Alex Opatz and Bocken each scored resulting in a 7-1 victory and a conference championship.

As a team the boys had seven goals, 13 assists, and 20 points.

Wilson had 17 saves for the night. Nothing could get passed him.

Wilson always says the same thing to himself when he’s in the net, “Always be ready for one shot and don’t think ahead. Thinking ahead can kill you.”

“Nash stopped what he needed to stop.” Coach Nelson said. “He had a few big saves, but I think at the end of the game it was a team effort tonight,”

With the new title as conference champions, the Moose will head into this weekend with a game on Saturday, Feb. 15 at the Buffalo civic Center.

Reach Jessie Meyen at jessie.meyen@ecm-inc.com

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