Baraboo/Portage head coach Andy Waldvogel liked the way his undermanned team played in Tuesday's 3-1 non-conference loss to La Crosse Aquinas/Holmen in a high school boys hockey game at the Onalaska Omni Center.
"We had some young guys playing a lot of minutes and it was encouraging to see," Waldvogel said after his team fell to 1-4 on the season. "The effort was really strong, probably the best team effort we've put together to this point. ... We played a good team and played well despite a short bench."
The Thunderbirds gave up a goal 3 minutes, 23 seconds into the first period before drawing even with a power-play goal at the 13:32 mark. Oliver Scanlan found the back of the net, scoring his first varsity goal on assists from Joe Zemanovic and Gabe Larson to tie the game at 1.
But that was all the T-Birds could muster, as Aquinas/Holmen scored a goal apiece in the second and third periods to pull away.
The T-Birds finished with 36 shots on goal, while Baraboo/Portage goalie Dane Hinz made 30 saves in the loss.
The T-Birds will head to Beaver Dam on Friday for their Badger North Conference opener. Baraboo/Portage and Beaver Dam each went 4-6 in conference play last year to tie for fourth place out of six teams.
"This was definitely encouraging and we have some things to build on as we go into the Badger North schedule against Beaver Dam on Friday," Waldvogel said. "We really took some positive steps forward tonight. The guys who came to play really came to play."
Cap City Cougars 7, Badger Lightning 0
The Badger Lightning were shut out in home loss to the Cap City Cougars on Tuesday night at Poppy Waterman Ice Arena in Lake Delton.
The Lightning gave up five first-period goals on the way to suffering a 7-0 Badger Conference loss to the Cougars, a Sun Prairie co-op team.
The Cougars got on the board 2:52 into the first period, as Brynna Banuelos scored to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead.
Banuelos added two more first-period goals as Cap City took a 5-0 lead into the first intermission. Banuelos tacked on one of Cap City's two second-period goals, as the Cougars opened up a 7-0 lead before the teams played to a scoreless third period.
The Lightning will play their first road game of the year when they head to Cedarburg on Saturday to play the Lakeshore Lightning. The teams already met once this year, as Badger suffered a 6-2 loss to the Cedarburg co-op during a home tournament on Nov. 24.