Skaters come close

Fresh off a disheartening 8-0 loss to Wausau East, the Bluejay hockey team turned in a much better performance in a 6-4 loss to Stevens Point Pacelli, a 4-7 team that ended last year’s season. Merrill, 0-4 in the WVC, fell to 0-8.

“We like the way we matched up,” MHS coach Chris Marlowe said. “It was very disappointing but the kids played their hearts out.”

The Jays’ Adam Kohnhorst scored 2:34 into the first (A-Travis Kleinschmidt), but Pacelli ripped off four unanswered from 3:30 of the first to 3:31 of the second.

“It wasn’t that they were better than us, it’s just believing,” Marlowe said. “We have lapses where we get beat to every puck. It’s just letting our guard down.”

After a time out, Merrill rebounded, cutting it to 4-3 by the end of the period and tying it 4-4 on a Brandon Gille goal 1:17 into the third (A-Max Eggar, Trevor Jahnke). Dylan Koss scored the second-period goals, with help from John Baumann and Emily Heckendorf on both.

But Pacelli scored three minutes later and added an open-netter with :03 remaining.

“Pacelli scored a fluke goal,” Marlowe said. “They threw the puck out front from a weird angle and it hit off a defenseman’s shin and just trickled into the net.”

Injuries to Jahnke (knee) and Kohnhorst (back) added to the disappointment.

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