Northwestern joins Superior in search for state hockey title
By: By Mike Granlund, Special to the Telegram, Superior Telegram
Everyone is aware of the Superior High School Spartans’ quest for another WIAA boys state hockey championship; a young Spartan team with outstanding senior leadership, exhibiting tremendous character in winning some close games to advance to the Alliant Energy Center.
Superior’s tradition in boys high school hockey is unrivaled. Names such as Wiitala, Dalbec, Raygor, Sislo, Olson, Mertz and others evoke memories of late winter snowstorms, overtime wins and championship trophy hoisting.
What folks don’t know is that now Northwestern High School is in the mix.
NHS is in the first year of a two-year cooperative agreement for girls hockey with Hayward. Spooner is also a member of the co-op that is hosted by Hayward and dubbed Hayward-Spooner by most media.
Northwestern’s contribution to the team is Maddy Spangenberg, a sophomore winger from Iron River.
Spangenberg is the shortstop on coach Scott Janigo’s Northwestern softball team in the spring, but at the present time she is the third-leading scorer on the (ahem) “Hayward-Northwestern-Spooner” girls hockey team.
Spangenberg scored the first goal Saturday against the St. Croix Valley Fusion in the sectional title game as the Lady Canes (21-4-1) advanced to this week’s WIAA State Tournament. Spangenberg, who previously played in the Iron River youth program and then the Ashland youth program, was recently named all-state honorable mention by the Girls Wisconsin Hockey Coaches Association.
She is the daughter of Jeff and Julie Spangenberg.
The Lady Canes play University School of Milwaukee at 2:15 p.m. Friday at Madison’s Alliant Energy Center. If they win, the state championship game is set for noon Saturday, with the boys WIAA championship to follow.
Go Spartans! Go Tiger!
The girls field
The D.C. Everest/Mosinee/Wausau co-op, formerly identified as the Mosinee co-op with the same schools, returns as the defending champion. The Storm have now qualified for state for the fifth straight year. The co-op also won the State crown in 2008 and finished runner-up in 2011. They defeated Northland Pines 4-1 in the sectional final to earn the opportunity to defend their title.
The Onalaska/Aquinas/Holmen/West Salem co-op skated past the Middleton co-op 7-4 in the sectional final to earn its first opportunity to play at state. Relatively the same co-op, minus Melrose-Mindoro, qualified last season and finished runner-up. Onalaska, without the co-op arrangement, appeared in six straight state tournaments from 2002-07. The Hilltoppers had back-to-back runner-up finishes in 2005-06.
The Hayward/Northwestern/Spooner co-op has qualified for the state tournament for the first time, although the same co-op without Northwestern qualified last year, which resulted in a loss in the semifinals. The co-op earned the trip to Madison with a 3-1 triumph over the River Falls co-op in the sectional final.
The University School of Milwaukee/Divine Savior Holy Angels/Homestead/Nicolet/St. Thomas More/Shorewood/Whitefish Bay co-op will make its first appearance at state. The same co-op, with the exception of the addition of St. Thomas More, made a State appearance in 2010 when the Wildcats fell in the semifinals. They defeated the Brookfield Central co-op 1-0 in the sectional final to return to the final field of four.
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