SOY - Boys Hockey

Verona’s Mack Keryluk (right) was one of five Wildcats named to the Division 1 all-state team last season. He scored two short-handed goals in the state quarterfinals against Eau Claire North, the Wildcats’ final win of the 2018-19 season.

Forwards Mack Keryluk and Cale Rufenacht, defensemen Jake Osiecki and Kade Binger and goaltender Kaden Grant played prominent roles in Verona boys hockey’s return to the Division 1 state tournament.

The quintet was named to the 2018-19 all-state team by the Wisconsin Hockey Coaches Association. Keryluk and Osiecki received first-team honors, while Rufenacht, Binger and Grant were named honorable mentions.

Verona went 17-5-2 overall and won its third straight Big Eight Conference title with a 13-1-0 mark. The Wildcats raced through regionals and sectionals to reach state for a second straight year, and defeated Eau Claire North 5-1 to advance to the state semifinals.

Verona’s season ended with a 5-0 loss to eventual champion Milwaukee University.

Keryluk was the sixth-leading goal scorer (34) in the state and finished eighth in points (66). He had eight goals and eight assists in the Wildcats’ five playoff games.

Osiecki was a finalist for the state’s Mr. Hockey award, given annually to the state’s top senior. He had four goals and 17 assists.

Rufenacht finished with 20 goals and 32 assists in 29 games.

Binger helped solidify the defense but also showed a scoring touch, finishing fifth on the team with 22 points (5 goals, 17 assists) during the regular season.

Grant took over in goal and posted a .914 save percentage and two shutouts.

— Mark Nesbitt