In a season where the Kenosha Thunder co-op hockey program is recovering from the losses of key leaders from the previous year, the team continues to press forward, in spite of difficulties and a losing skid.

The Thunder, which includes representatives from Westosha Central and Wilmot Union high schools, also has a contingent from the Kenosha Unified School District. Kenosha is 1-13.

Trent Kmiec

Entering this season, the team faced the task of replacing Kenosha Indian Trail’s Nicholas Elsen, the points leader with 43 along with Wilmot graduate Cody Faber, who accounted for 25 points as a senior in 2016-17.

Other departures were Max Maeggard, Jackson Jones and Westosha Central’s Kyle Kuhfuss.

With the losses, defenseman Chase Erickson of Westosha Central and Wilmot’s Christian Stoller are the two leading returners.

Along with Erickson and Stoller, the Thunder has Westosha Central goalie Joseph La Forge in goal, where he assumed the bulk of duties following the graduation of Tanner Arnold.

In recent contests, Erickson, Westosha Central’s Trent Kmiec, and La Forge have shown some growth.

In the Jan. 5 11-0 loss to University School at the Pleasant Prairie IcePlex, La Forge dealt with a barrage of 44 University School shots, compared the Thunder’s seven.

Kmiec, meanwhile, accounted for the Thunder’s lone goal in a Dec. 29 contest against Sun Prairie.

In two December games, Kmiec and Erickson played a role in keeping the Thunder within striking distance, starting with a Dec. 19 tilt with visiting Sheboygan followed by another home game against Waunakee.

Dec. 19
Sheboygan Red Raiders 4, Kenosha 3

Kenosha, which entered the first intermission with a 2-2 deadlock, courtesy of goals by Nathan Stine (Ryan Cope) and Cope (Trevor Heide, Chandler Giampetro), the Thunder jumped ahead 3-2 to open the second period when Westosha Central’s Trent Kmiec knocked in a goal.

Sheboygan, however, responded with back-to-back to goals to come away with a 4-3 victory.

Joseph La Forge, of Westosha Central, logged 51 minutes in goal where he stopped 30 shots by the Red Raiders.

Dec. 22
Waunakee 5, Kenosha 3

Three days later, on Dec. 22, the Thunder produced an early 2-0 lead when Kenosha received goals from Cope (Stine) and Giampetro (Kmiec, Emanuelson).

Waunakee, which closed out the first period with a goal, and Kenosha each had a scoreless second period.

Waunakee eventually took a 3-2 lead, but Westosha Central’s Chase Erickson knotted the contest up at three apiece after he knocked in a goal for the Kenosha.

Cope and Stein assisted Erickson’s goal.

The Warriors responded with two goals to edge the Thunder 5-3.

Kenosha’s loss comes in spite of 26 shots on goal compared to the Warriors’ 21.


1 Comment

  1. Ted Kmiec says:

    Jason, thanks for writing such a positive article. The Thunder players are working and playing hard. It’s great to see press that is supportive. It’s appreciated.

    Ted Kmiec

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