Already the #1 seed in its sectional, and on a short list of teams with a good chance at winning a state title this year, the Onalaska Hilltoppers ended the regular season in style Friday night, knocking off University School of Milwaukee 4-1 at the Omni Center.
The win is a confidence-booster for an already confident team. Onalaska (21-3) went 8-0 in MVC play and will host a playoff game on Thursday against either Viroqua or La Crosse Central/Logan - two teams that the Hilltoppers have beaten.
The Hilltoppers won their final six games and went 12-1 on home ice in the regular season.
"I think we're playing our best hockey at the right time right now," senior forward Tyler Ebner said. "We have a lot of experience up front and our D are starting to come around on the back end."
On Friday, Parker Tepp opened the scoring with a power play goal about five minutes into the contest. The lead was short-lived though, as the Wildcats answered with a goal by Brandon McGill at the 12:08 mark. The score was 1-1 at the end of the period.
In the second period, Sam Lass' goal at the 8:09 mark gave the Hilltoppers the lead back heading into the locker room.
Onalaska went on to score twice more in the third, first on a goal from Ebner just 22 seconds into the period, the second a empty-net goal by Cam Oberweiser with under a minute left.
"We had a lot of communication, a lot of effort, a lot of smart plays, making the right chip-in, chip-outs from everyone," Ebner said. "We played well."