The Bulldogs extended their win streak to eight with homecoming-week wins over Libby and Polson.
Last Tuesday the Dogs chopped down the Loggers in an 8-1 blowout win.
Six different Bulldogs scored in that Northwest A conference matchup, with Casey Schneider and Xander Burger both accounting for a pair of goals apiece.
Ammann Koch-Ford scored a goal and assisted on two, and Brandon Mendoza also had two assists.
A penalty kick in the 80th minute got Libby on the scoreboard.
The Dogs outshot Libby on goal 18-3.
Then on Saturday Whitefish pitched a 5-0 shutout of the Pirates at home.
Schneidger netted the first goal in the 26th minute, which was followed immediately by a Sam Menicke goal two minutes later.
Mendoza scored two goals and Ian Lacey added the final in the 60th minute.
Schneider assisted on all four of those goals.
Bulldogs head coach John Lacey said while the score looks like Saturday’s match was a sure-handed victory, the game was close to start.
“We survived with a bit of luck in the first 15 minutes, Polson definitely had a few chances where they could’ve gone up on us,” he said. “Once we withstood that, the boys played well and earned the victory for sure.”
Lacey also pointed to Schneider’s effort as an example of what his team strives for.
“When you put in the kind of effort he did, it shows up. That’s what our team is capable of. They have the ability, and when it combines with that kind of effort, yeah, you get an output like Casey had on Saturday. He wasn’t alone, but it was just so obvious that he did a lot for our team. That was really neat to see,” he said.
Whitefish had 14 shots on goal to Polson’s 5, with keeper Colter Upton recording four saves.
This week Whitefish hosts the rival Columbia Falls Wildcats on Thursday at 5 p.m.
On Saturday they’ll get another look at the Loggers in Libby.
Now that they’re into the second round of conference play, Lacey said there’s plenty for his team to work on.
“We’re taking nothing for granted for sure. Columbia Falls, they held us to zero for almost 50 minutes the first time. They’re going to be eager to come try to get a goal on us if they do the same kind of defensive effort. One goal changes that game,” Lacey said.
Lacey also noted that while his players set a goal to return to the state title match this season, they’re more focused on the next match than the postseason.
“They set the goals for themselves pretty early on that they wanted to be back where they are and improve on last year. We’ve been building since previous years, building since June when we started our summer effort, building through the nonconference and conference schedule,” he said. “While they know that even though the season will be defined by our playoffs and what happens in October, we still get a second crack at all our conference opponents and we want to play better.”
Libby 0 1 — 1
Whitefish 3 5 — 8
W — Riley Arendt (Brandon Mendoza), 6:00
W — Casey Schneider, 30:00
W — Ammann Koch-Ford (Gabe Menicke), 38:00
W — Schneider (Mendoza), 43:00
W — Xander Burger (Schneider), 49:00
W — Burger (Arendt), 52:00
W — Marvin Kimera (Koch-Ford), 73:00
W — Chase Sabin (Koch-Ford), 78:00
L — Moxley Roesler-Begalke, pk, 80:00
Shots on goal — Libby 3, Whitefish 18; Corner kicks — Libby 2, Whitefish 7; Keeper saves — Libby 10 (Elijah Smith), Whitefish 2 (Colter Upton/Will Peppmeier); Fouls — Libby 2, Whitefish 16; Cards — None.
Whitefish 2 3 – 5
Polson 0 0 – 0
W – Casey Schneider, 26:00
W – Sam Menicke (Schneider), 28:00
W – Brandon Mendoza (Schneider), 49:00
W – Mendoza (Schneider), 60:00
W – Ian Lacey (Schneider), 60:00
Shots on goal – Whitefish 14, Polson 5; Corner kicks – Whitefish 4, Polson 1; Keeper saves – Whitefish 3 (Colter Upton), Polson 9 (Xander Stalkfleet); Fouls – Whitefish 6, Polson 4