Wild swings fill Lincoln County hockey rematch
The Bluejay skaters played two very competitive games in the span of three days last week, but took two more losses on the chin at the Smith Center.
Tomahawk prevailed in a wild 10-6 game at the Smith Center last Tuesday, collecting its third straight win. Then Merrill dropped a 7-2 game to Marshfield on Thursday.
The Hatchets also fell 11-1 at Mosinee on Thursday.
Merrill battled back twice to give Tomahawk a scare in last Tuesday’s contest.
“This was a very exciting game, unfortunately we fell on the short end of it,” MHS coach Chase Nelson said. “I have to give our boys a lot of credit because we fought back from a 7-2 deficit and made it a one-goal game.
“During that span we went on a streak of three goals in 57 seconds, all on the power play. That was good to see because our power play had been struggling all year.”
THS coach Jake Flohr enjoyed the team’s victory with reservations.
“We came out good and let them back in,” he said. “Then we got up again and let them back in. You can’t let up on anybody in varsity hockey.
“It was a high-scoring game. Both teams are not high-scoring teams, but there were a lot of goals. It helped that my second line scored a bunch of goals.
“The rivalry’s good. We’re so close together, we should play. The coaches even skate together on weekends.”
The Hatchets asserted their will early on Tuesday for a 2-0 lead behind goals from Colton Kammer (A-A.J. Bunce, Sam Heim) and Kris Gaedtke (UA), but Merrill wasn’t intimidated. It made the first of two comebacks to knot it at twos within five minutes. Nick Hoffmann (A-Trevor Jahnke) and Kevin Bolder (A-Matt Ladewig) came through with the scores.
The Hatchets regained the lead just :17 into the second with a goal from Kammer (A-Bunce, Trevor Iwen), and a fluke score from a goalie pounce made it 4-2, although credit went to Gaedtke (A-Allen Krick, Cole Hepner). THS continued to push the tally to 7-2 in the wild second period, counting on Dylan Dahl (A-Kenny Kangas), and two goals from Heim in a 30-second span (A-Kangas and A-Kammer, Iwen).
But a five-minute major for unsportsmanlike conduct gave Merrill an extended power play and it took advantage. Lucas Kleinschmidt (A-Hoffman, Adam Kohnhorst) started it with a battle in front of the net and Jahnke peppered it twice (A-Kohnhorst, Reid Kleinschmidt and A-Hoffman, L. Kleinschmidt), the latter goal threading the needle along the pipe.
The Jays cut it to 7-6 when Kohnhorst (A-Dylan Heller, Jahnke) netted a puck a diving Jahnke kept alive.
But Tomahawk pushed it to 9-6 with a pair of Kammer scores, the first on the power play (A-Heim) that hit MHS goalkeeper Stephen Simon in the chest and popped over and the second to an empty net (A-Iwen). Alex Ungerer added an unassisted backdoor goal with :40 remaining.
Saves-MHS-Stephen Simon 13-19-19-51. Tomahawk-Ole Hanson 11-9-13-33.
The Tigers built a 4-0 lead in the first period.
Kohnhorst (A-L. Kleinschmidt, Hoffmann) converted a power play with 2:42 elapsed in the second, but the Tigers bumped it to 7-1 with another PP score sandwiched by two even-handed goals. The last one came nearly 10:00 into the third.
Kohnhorst’s PP tally (A-Jahnke, L. Kleinschmidt) with 2:45 remaining cut the final to 7-2.
“After a rough first period, we played pretty well over the last two,” Nelson said. “We gave up two power play goals and a short-handed goal in the first period and missed out on some opportunities to score some goals of our own that put us in a hole after the first. After that we played pretty evenly.
“Marshfield has a very good top line and they accounted for all seven of their goals in some way. We knew we had to shut them down, but were unable to do so. Our power play unit was again successful as both of our goals were scored on the power play.”
Saves-MHS-Stephen Simon 10-12-11-33. Marshfield-Mac Alboreo 10-9-4, 1 g; Austin Pickhard *-*-3-3, 1 g.
Mosinee jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first period and tacked on three in the second and two in the third before Tomahawk’s Kenny Kangas broke up the shutout with an unassisted power play score at the midpoint of the third.
Jared Sprink offered three goals and an assist, while Bryce Hladovcak gave the inverse. Five others scored a pair of points.
Tomahawk was outshot 46-10.
Saves-THS-Ole Hanson 20-9-*-29, 8 g; Evan Russo *-3-13-16, 3 g. Mosinee-Jimmy Rogers 3-3-*-6, 0 g; A.J. Fuls *-*-3-3, 1 g.
Merrill dropped to 0-12 in the Valley and 2-18 overall. Marshfield bumped it up to 4-7-1 and 11-10-1, while Tomahawk was 6-8 in the GNC and 7-16 overall. Mosinee was at 11-2-1 and 15-7-2.