Millard West takes their first loss in 19 games

Senior scores the only goals in the 5-2 loss against Elkhorn


photo by Tenley Wright

Millard West players beats the Junior Jays in the regular Hockey season.

Hayden Cole, Staff Reporter

With an 18 game winning streak on the line, the Wildcats faced Elkhorn in the semi-final of the state tournament with the winner moving onto the championship match, the loser would have to climb their way back up to the winners bracket. Millard West is coming into State as the one seed and Elkhorn a three seed respectfully.

In the first period, things got off to a slow start as no team could find a way to score on each other. That was until Elkhorn struck first with a goal to get the early 1-0 lead with 9:05 left in the period. About a minute later, Preston Haulit is called for slashing and puts Elkhorn on a power play. Elkhorn took advantage of the power play and scored with 7:52 left to go in the first period. 

“It’s not good to get off to a slow start like that in any game and it really affected us for the rest of the game,” senior Evan Christensen said.

After a slow start, the Wildcats looked to get back on the right track and get back into the game. With 5:19 left in the period, a penalty was called against Elkhorn. Millard West finally got one back as Christensen moved the deficit down to 1-2 with 3:13 left in the first period. After one period of play, Elkhorn led 2-1 as they also led in shot 11-10.

To start off the second period, Christensen struck again for the Wildcats and tied the game up at two with 9:21 left to go in the second period. Right when things started to rub Millard West way, Elkhorn responded to the two straight goals with one of their own to take the 3-2 lead. Both teams played fantastic defense as the final seven minutes were scoreless as the second period came to an end. Going into the third period, Elkhorn led 3-2.

“It seemed like after the two straight goals we would keep the momentum, but thanks to their lockdown defense it made it hard for us to get going again,” senior Neil Emert said.

Very early in the third period Elkhorn took a two goal lead as it made the score 4-2. After a timeout by the Wildcats with 4:42 left in the period, Millard West was dominating in shots, 41-17, but they couldn’t seem to find the net. Elkhorn would end up scoring another goal with 33.6 seconds left in the match as the Wildcats fell to the Antlers 5-2. While they lost, it doesn’t mean the Wildcats can’t win the whole thing. Millard West will need to win through the losers bracket to get back to the top and have a rematch against Elkhorn.

“Normally when you take that many shots and the other team takes so little, the score will reflect on that but it didn’t so now we just need to regroup and fight our way back up,” sophomore Hunter Johnson said. 

The Wildcats will face the winner of Tri-city and Creighton Prep in the losers bracket.