The Shorewood girls hockey co-op, which draws players from five area schools including Whitefish Bay, USM, DSHA and Nicolet, is having a great season. The team is 21-2 overall, and is currently the number one ranked team in the state.
Jenna Vuorinen, senior, the lone Shorewood representative on the team, says that much of this success is due not only to the immense talent of the players on the ice, but also their ability to play as a team.
“We had a lot of new girls come to the team this year,” Vuorinen said. “We had some issues coming together that held us back at first, but we worked past that and have obviously been very successful since.”
The team has not lost since the beginning of January, a streak that has seen them outscore their opponents 45-5. The team takes on Onalaska High School in their last game of the regular season, before their sectional quarterfinal game on February 20, when they set their sights on a deep playoff run, and perhaps a state championship.
The boys team on the other hand, WNS Storm, has had a very different season. After losing a few key players from last year’s squad, the Whitefish Bay, Nicolet and Shorewood co-op is going through a year of rebuilding.
They have won just three of their 21 games and are currently last in their conference. Despite this, Brendan Nagle, senior and one of the team’s captains, has drawn positives from the rough season.
“We have a lot of young talent that will come through the program over the coming years,” Nagle said. “While this year has been a struggle, I think over the next two to three years the team will reach new heights.”
A big part of this talent comes from Shorewood, in the form of Reed Falkner and Mile Torbica, freshmen, who are already on the varsity team.
“Playing for the team was fun, and different from youth hockey. The upperclassmen were inviting and nice, and didn’t care I was a freshman,” Falkner said, who has made three goals and two assists in 16 varsity games this season. The team is still optimistic about the playoffs despite the tough season.
“The talent is there. If we can put it all together at the right times, anything can happen,” said Nagle, who played in the state semifinals with the team in 2013.
WNS play Stoughton on February 13 in their first playoff game, a rematch of an early season game, which WNS won 3-1.
by Matt Heinen