Hortonville players lead the way
By Erik Buchinger
The Neenah/Hortonville/Menasha boys’ hockey team beat Bay Port 5-0 at the Tri County Ice Arena in Neenah on Friday, Dec. 22.
Hortonville has nine players listed on the varsity roster, and Dillon Fox finished with two goals and two assists, while Drew Sutton scored two goals and one assist.
“Dillon and Drew Sutton – those were a couple guys that were looking to really step up,” Rockets co-head coach Mike Elkin said. “Dillon has had a great year. He worked hard in the offseason to get stronger and faster. He’s got an unbelievable shot – probably the best shot on the team.”
Sutton said his two goals were set up by teammates that gave him the puck at the right spots.
“I thought I played well, but I wasn’t just me,” Sutton said. “My line mates set me up really well, gave me some great opportunities, and I’m just thankful I buried them.”
Sutton described his two goals on the night.
“The second one Dillon had a nice pass to me, a tough pass, but he made it happen,” Sutton said. “First goal was a little lucky. I shot it, bounced off a defender and went in, but I’ll take it. A goal is a goal.”
Fox scored the first goal 21 seconds into the game, and he said it was nice to get a win against Bay Port, which beat the Rockets 3-2 to advance to state last season.
“It felt great, I just wanted to get revenge because last year we lost to them in the sectional finals,” Fox said. “It just felt great to get a goal right away.”
Elkin said the two teams are different from last season, and Bay Port will be a better team by the end of the season.
“Last season was last season,” Mike Elkin said. “I know that’s coach talk, but it’s always good to get a win. They have a different team, and we have a different team. They’ll be a different team at the end of the season. He’s a great coach over there.”
The Rockets were without leading scorer Alec Elkin, and Mike Elkin said everybody else had to step up.
“Tonight was a difficult one with our captain not being able to play,” Mike Elkin said. “Everyone needed to step up an extra degree, and that’s exactly what happened. A group of guys that went to battle, and everybody was up for the challenge. We played a well-rounded game tonight.”
Defensively, NHM did not allow a goal, and goalkeeper Preston Long finished with 27 saves.
“It’s all about keeping them out of prime scoring areas,” Mike Elkin said. “That’s’ always our goal to keep pucks to the outside…With Preston back there and our quality defenseman that we have, it’s a good solid foundation for us to be sound, and we stress it.”
NHM came into the game ranked No. 6 in the latest coaches’ poll and improved to 8-1 this season.