Thunder Hockey

Sam McKenney scores his first goal of the season in a Squirt contest at Oshkosh on Saturday while Thomas Canning (82) and Parker Perket look on.

MARINETTE—M&M Thunder Hockey will be sending four teams to State Tournament competitions in the next two weeks. The Squirts will host the action at the Community REC Center this weekend while the Bantams will travel to Ashland. Meanwhile the PeeWee and High School teams are gearing up for their State Tournaments March 12-14.

HIGH SCHOOL

The Thunder High School team is gearing up for the State Tournament in Ozaukee March 12-14. The Thunder will open the draw against Hudson at 8:15 p.m. on Friday, March 12.

BANTAM

The Bantam team reached the final of the consolation bracket at the La Crosse Tournament over the weekend with a 9-1 win over SHAW.

The Thunder were defeated 8-1 against West Salem in the main draw before squaring off with Shaw. Luke Skala had the lone Thunder goal in that contest.

Against SHAW, the Thunder benefitted from a dozen penalties called against their opponent and scored six of their nine goals on the power play.

Bri Torko started the scoring with an unassisted goal, and Damien Winterbottom followed with a pair of goals to make it 3-1 after one period. In the second period, the Thunder pushed the margin to 6-1 with goals from Brayden Rounds, Addy Johnson and Torko.

In the third period, Rounds and Johnson added goals and Torko capped the scoring by completing her first hat-trick of the season. Winterbottom added three assists to an outstanding day, while Rounds had a pair of helpers. Johnson, Blue Haley, Skala and Addison Lacy also had assists in the win. Avery Waloway recorded nine saves in the win.

In the final of the consolation bracket the Thunder were narrowly defeated, 6-4, by Ames, Iowa. Addison Lacy got the Thunder on the board first when she scored off an assist from Winterbottom and Johnson. Ames then netted three in a row, but Haley closed the first period with a goal to cut the margin to 3-2.

Torko tied the game at 3-3 with an assist from Rounds early in the second period, but Ames Answered and took a 4-3 advantage to the third period.

The Thunder tied the game again in the third with a goal from Haley, but Ames took the lead with 10:55 to play and later added an empty netter in the game’s closing seconds.

Waloway made 25 saves in the loss.

The Bantams will travel to Ashland this weekend for the WAHA 14U 4A State Tournament. They will start with Tomahawk at 8 p.m. on Friday.

PEEWEE

After seeing their 11-game winning streak end last weekend, the Thunder PeeWees started a new streak with a pair of wins at Oshkosh on Sunday. The Thunder won with scores of 7-1 and 6-4.

In game one, Logan Sakovitz paced the offense with a hat-trick and two assists. Wyatt Denny, Connor Radtke, Michael O’Connor and Chase Nerat also scored while Chuckie Bird, Nerat, Collin Campbell (2), and Radtke (2) all had helpers.

The Thunder focused on situational game play in preparation for their State Tournament in game-two, and came away with a 6-4 win. Bryce Vincent, Wes Baty, O’Connor, Campbell, Denny and Sakovitz all scored in the win.

The Thunder will have one more tune-up on Friday, when they host the Green Bay 12U Girls A team at the Community REC Center before traveling to Price for the State Tournament, March 12-14.

12U GIRLS

The 12U Girls hosted the Central Wisconsin Storm at the Community REC Center in their final competition of the season on Sunday. The Storm came away with a 5-0 win and a 2-0 win while Katie Olson totaled 57 saves on the day.

SQUIRT

The Thunder Squirt team traveled to Oshkosh on Saturday and swept a doubleheader with scores of 8-1 and 5-2.

In game one, the Thunder put four goals on the board in the first period. Easton Baty started the scoring off a nice assist from Jesse McClarren. The quality passing continued with Alex Bird finding a streaking Owen Shaffer for a second goal. Bird and Wyatt Kneath also scored in the first period.

In the second period, Lucien Thayer made it 5-0 before McClarren found the net. Thayer then pumped in a second and third goal to push the score to 8-0.

Jack Aftanas stopped 17 shots and allowed only an inconsequential goal in the third period.

In game two, the Warbirds pushed back and led 2-0 after the first period. The Squirts responded in the second when Calvin Schroeder scored midway through the period. Twenty seconds later Sam McKenney scored his first goal of the season with an assist from Connor Eastman to tie the game at 2-2.

Less than a minute into the third period, Aftanas scored on an assist from Owen Haley. Fifteen seconds later McKenney scored again when he redirected a strike from Schroeder. Aftanas put the game out of reach when he pushed the score to 5-2 with four minutes to play.

Thayer tended the net in game-two and stopped nine of the eleven shots he faced.

The Squirts will host the WAHA 10U 4A State Tournament at the Community REC Center this weekend. The action will start at 9 a.m. Saturday morning with the Thunder taking on the Burnett Blizzard. The competition also features teams from Altoona, Ashland, Manitowoc, Milwaukee and Tomahawk.

10U GIRLS

The 10U Girls closed out their season hosting the Central Wisconsin Storm at the Community REC Center on Sunday. The teams battled to a 3-3 draw in game one before the Thunder shutout the Storm 1-0 in game-two.

Whitney Haile scored all four Thunder goals on the day.

Gracelyn Loomis turned in 10 saves in game-one to preserve the tie. In game-two, Loomis stonewalled the Storm with eight saves to make Haile’s goal stand up for a 1-0 victory.

With games hard to schedule during the pandemic, the Thunder and Storm programs had a strong relationship. The two teams squared off eight times, and while Thunder went 7-0-1 in those contests, they were decided by just over two goals per game.

MITES

The Mites also closed out their season this weekend. On Saturday, they hosted a Jamboree at the Community REC Center. The White team came away with the championship, giving them three titles in three tournaments this season.