The Chi-Hi boys hockey team is still figuring out who it is.
One thing the team has learned early on is it is capable of overcoming a deficit.
The Cardinals scored twice in the third period to help top Menomonie 3-2 on Thursday at Chippewa Ice Arena in the Big Rivers Conference opener for both teams.
Freshman Isaac Frenette scored his third goal of the season on the power play at the 1:50 mark of the period on an assist from Isaac Lindstrom and Tyler Bohland to even the game before Lucas Steinmetz netted his second goal of the night at 5:07 on an assist from Blake Trippler to give the Cardinals the lead for good.
“It was a gut check after the second,” Chi-Hi coach Scott Parker said. “We did put some pressure on them at times and then our erratic play let them back in the game. We’re a team that if we play discipline-style hockey and we pass the puck on the stick we’re a good team and we’re striving to get there.”
Chi-Hi jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first period on Steinmetz’s first goal, a power-play score from Frenette and Ben Steinmetz. But a physical Mustangs team would score twice in the second period with goals from Nate Frank and Carter Davidson to take a one-goal lead into the final period.
The Cardinals (3-0, 1-0) trailed 1-0 before picking up a 3-2 win at Hayward on Tuesday.
“We made some changes and they went out and executed and a freshman scored his third goal in three games. It was a nice Big Rivers win,” Parker said. “They’re a very physical team and we had to play through that. I give my team credit for bouncing back in the third period.”
Chi-Hi entered the season replacing an influential senior class from last season that provided plenty of punch on offense and defense and three games in is looking to find the perfect mix for this season.
“We are figuring out who we are right now,” Parker said. “In the process we’re figuring out what holes we’ve got to fill and what we have to do to get this team at a little higher level. We’re not at the level we want to be at. We have some holes to fill and it’s a process.”
Jaden Hoople made 19 saves including six in the third period to keep the Mustangs from adding to their goal tally.
The Cardinals host state-ranked Superior on Tuesday.