Jay skaters come up short
The Bluejay skaters fell 8-2 to Stevens Point Pacelli last Thursday, then let a 2-1 lead get away in Saturday’s 4-2 loss to Rhinelander. Both were home games.
“We actually won the second period despite being outshot 8-3, and took a 2-1 lead into the third period,” MHS coach Chase Nelson said. “Rhinelander only had 9 skaters, but they were all very strong skaters and they just didn’t run out of gas.
“We lost Nick Hoffmann late in the second period to a game disqualification penalty, on a hustle play where he checked an off-balance skater, sending him head first into the boards, which results in an automatic five-minute major penalty plus the DQ. There were also some questionable non-penalty calls, three to be exact, in which Dylan Heller skated around their defenseman and then was hooked up around the armpits and spun around. I have refereed hockey for many years and this is an automatic penalty, no questions asked.”
“Despite the non-calls, this game was won by Rhinelander because of strength and endurance. I can’t fault the effort my guys put forward. They gave it everything that they had. We talked after the game, and I told them that skill-wise and hockey sense-wise, we were two pretty even teams but it came down to which team worked harder in the off-season.”
Dylan Heller scored with help from Bryce Swiechowski and Hoffmann with 3:53 gone in the first, but the Hodags tied it 10 minutes later. Hoffmann tallied the only goal of the second, with 4:36 gone on a Heller assist. Three different Hodags scored in the third.
Merrill fell to 0-5 overall, while Rhinelander improved to 1-4.
Saves-MHS-Stephen Simon 29. Rhinelander-Jake Arno 17.
Getting the point, again
The Jays trailed just 3-2 midway through the second period, but SPP ripped off four goals in the third to win going away. Lucas Kleinschmidt (A-Heller) scored 10:23 into the first and Hoffmann netted a Reid Kleinschmidt pass 10:27 into the second.
“We started out a little sluggish in this one, but after we notched the first goal of the game our motors really started clicking,” Nelson said. “The second and third periods were a different story. Pacelli brought about 24 skaters and just wore out our 15 skaters.
Saves-Merrill-Simon 54. Pacelli-Brady Huettner 13.