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2nd period dooms Monroe vs. Edgewood
Cade Janecke, a freshman from Orangeville, celebrates his goal in the first period for the Cheesemakers. Janecke leads the team in scoring with six goals and five assists. (Times photo: Adam Krebs)
MONROE - With a young and relatively inexperienced team, Monroe co-op hockey coach Josh Smith likes to use Madison Edgewood as a measuring stick for teams.

"This is a good, established program," Smith said. "They are a private school, so they get a lot of choice people. Milton lost to them 13-0, MG (Monona Grove) lost 12-1 - all of these other teams, with the exception of Oregon, has gotten creamed by them as well. It shows that we're improving."

On Tuesday night, the Crusaders made the Cheesemakers pay when it mattered most and waltzed off the ice with a 7-1 victory.

"I was not expecting rainbows and unicorns for this game. Up until last year, which doesn't sound so great, but it was the first year we ever held them to under 10 goals in a game," Smith said. "It doesn't sound good as a program, but it's a huge accomplishment given how young we are."

Edgewood (11-3-3, 6-0 Badger South) dominated the time of possession and shots on goal. Monroe (2-11, 1-5) was outshot 53-11.

"I was expecting a little more," Monroe sophomore goalie Heath Bear said of Edgewood. "Last year was a lot harder and tougher."

Edgewood opened the game with a goal just 3 minutes, 15 seconds in the first period. But not six minutes later the Cheesemakers tied things up as Orangeville freshman Cade Janecke raced up the right side of the ice and sniped a wrister into the back of the net.

"It was the most exciting part of the entire game," Bear said. "I was not expecting it, but I was glad my team could do that. It was a good period, we kept (Edgewood's score) low."

Bear had 46 saves and his save percentage in the game (.867) was nearly identical to his season average (.861).

"(Bear) did good tonight. I'm not going to complain. When you're getting that many shots against you you're going to start getting tired, but I thought he did fine tonight," Smith said. "We hung him out to dry a few times, though."

The tie was short-lived, as Edgewood regained the lead with 4:20 remaining in the first.

"He said we were doing good so far and that we needed to keep the pressure, keep on hitting them, and keep on getting the puck into the zone," Bear said of the first intermission.

Coming out of the locker rooms to open the second it was nothing but Edgewood, which scored five goals in the first seven minutes of the period.

"We seem to have a problem this year with five minutes in the second period. If you look at most of the goals in the games we lose it's usually from about five minutes in the middle of the second period. That's where all the goals are scored against us," Smith said. "Tonight it was 2-1 headed into the second, and then all of our problems came."

Jake Schmaltz had two goals in the blister and Jack Royer scored his second goal of the night in the Crusader flurry of goals. But that didn't stop Smith from putting things into perspective.

"There was no downside for us. Let's face it, no one thought we were going to win this game. So, if by some miracle we had won this game, we would have been on Cloud 9," Smith said. "Edgewood had everything to lose - they keep it close, then they look bad."

The Monroe bench called a timeout after the final goal at the 9:38 mark in the second. Neither team scored after that.

"We had a bad start and it cost us a couple of goals. But after that timeout we pulled it back together and played well," Bear said.

Bear knows a lot is being asked of him in the net, but he tries to face each shot with a fresh mind despite some frustrations.

"I get angry sometimes, but I can't do much if we're not doing well as a team," Bear said. "I think I've improved a lot this season because of some of the tough shots I've had and the good team's we've faced."

The Cheesemakers host Sparta on Saturday as part of a Monroe hockey appreciation weekend. From there, Monroe will take on Oregon Jan. 16. The rematch with Edgewood is slated for Feb. 5.