The Baraboo/Portage boys hockey team played a rollercoaster of a game on Tuesday night.
Baraboo/Portage scored just 16 seconds into its home opener, but Mosinee led in the second and third periods before Baraboo/Portage scored four unanswered goals to claim a 7-4 nonconference win at Pierce Park Hockey Rink.
“It was nice to come away with the win obviously, but we just had mistakes that cannot happen that led to obvious breakaway goals,” Baraboo/Portage head coach Andy Waldvogel said. “I’m glad we were able to bear down in the third period and get the job done, but we made it way more interesting than it needed to be tonight.
“A win is a win, but I think we saw tonight that there are some things that we need to clean up, and just really make sure that some of the mental mistakes that we made tonight do not became a habit.”
Baraboo/Portage (1-1) took control right away by winning the opening faceoff, which led to Jack Macdonald assisting Gabe Larson for a goal just 16 seconds into the first period.
The chances continued to come for Baraboo/Portage until Mosinee (0-2) went on a power play. Baraboo/Portage killed the penalty and struck immediately, as Jack Rath scored on an assist from Josh Beale to give Baraboo/Portage a 2-0 lead with 9:24 remaining in the first period.
The Indians’ got things going during the second half of the first period, ringing the pipe with 7:22 to play and getting on the board when Jared Jacobs scored to cut the deficit to 2-1 with 2:27 to play in the first.
Mosinee’s momentum carried over into the second period, as Trey Fitzgerald broke out on a fast break and beat Baraboo/Portage goalie Giovanni D’Asto to tie the game at 2 just 2:22 into the period.
Mosinee celebrated again just 37 seconds later, as Spencer Schmirler and Max Peterson assisted Jacobs for a fastbreak goal to give Mosinee a 3-2 lead.
The Indians got another clean look shortly after, but D’Asto came up with a big save to keep Baraboo/Portage within one goal.
“I think our players were playing with a certain level of confidence and lost sight of making simple plays,” Waldvogel said of Mosinee’s breakaway opportunities. “When we get into our season, if we have that as a happen, it’s going to be problematic for us.”
The game settled back down until Larson made a play at the 6-minute mark of the second period. The junior forward hit both pipes with his first shot, but followed it up and put it in the back of the net to tie the score at 3. Cameron Logan and Mike Wech had assists on the play.
Baraboo/Portage continued to threaten, but the teams went into the final break tied at 3.
Mosinee regained the lead just 49 seconds into the third period, as Fitzgerald scored on assists from Jacobs and Max Beste to give the Indians a 4-3 advantage.
The quick-strike offenses continued, as Baraboo/Portage drew even when Rath and Gabe D’Asto assisted Beale for a goal just 32 seconds later.
Rath struck on his own 7:26 into the third period, scoring the go-ahead goal with assists from Beale and Campbell Koseor.
Macdonald provided insurance at the 9:16 mark, taking an assist from Gabe D’Asto and putting it in off the post to give Baraboo/Portage a 6-4 lead.
The Baraboo/Portage defense killed off the final 7 minutes and Joe Zemanovic added an empty-net goal with 39 seconds left to put the game on ice.
Larson and Rath each scored a pair of goals to lead the Baraboo/Portage attack, while Giovanni D’Asto made 11 saves. Mosinee goalie Jared Kazmierczak tallied 34 saves.
Tuesday was the first of six straight home games for Baraboo/Portage, which opened the season with a 5-3 loss at Onalaska on Saturday. Baraboo/Portage will host La Crosse Aquinas on Thursday before welcoming Madison Memorial to town on Tuesday.