The Rhinelander High School boys' hockey team went 2-0 in their home Holiday Tournament to finish first place out of four teams. The Hodags defeated Baraboo/Portage 4-1 on Friday night at the Rhinelander Ice Arena and would win the championship game on Saturday also 4-1 over Sheboygan.
Rhinelander started the night out strong against the Thunderbirds and would build an 2-0 advantage in the first period after a late push. RHS would hold an 18-6 lead on shots in the first. Senior Freddy Wisner put the Hodags on the board after scoring at 10:38 just after a cross-checking penalty from Baraboo/Portage expired. Juniors Abe Laggis and Danny Zuiker were credited with assists to put Rhinelander up 1-0.
And just 17 seconds into a power play at 16:03 in the first sophomore Conor Pequet would put the Hodags up 2-0 on an assist from Wisner and sophomore Harlan Wojtusik. And Rhinelander would need that early edge after the Thunderbirds controlled the tempo in the second and pulled back with a goal.
Baraboo/Portage would outshoot RHS 17-2 in the second period. Rhinelander's defense killed off a 5-on-3 power play but gave up a goal in the final second before the end of the second period. Mike Wech put one past goalie Seth Stafford at 16:59 to give the Thunderbirds late momentum.
The Hodags were lucky to have Laggis back in the lineup after sustaining a knee injury the previous week against Waupaca. Laggis charted an early assist in the contest and would score at 10:16 in the third to give put Rhinelander ahead by two goals again.
With only 1:19 remaining in the contest, senior Bridger Flory recorded an empty netter to account for the Hodags' final goal and gave RHS a three-goal victory.
On the night, Rhinelander held a 33-29 edge on shots. Stafford earned the win with 28 saves as the Hodags advanced to Saturday’s championship match against Sheboygan where they also won 4-1 after taking advantage three power-play goals to finish first in the four-team tournament.
Zuiker scored Rhinelander's first goal and last goal in the championship game, both on power-plays. The first was at 11:55 in the first period on an assist from Laggis after Zach Tuzinkewich was called for slashing. RHS held a 8-7 edge on shots in the first.
Senior Sam Tjugum would put Rhinelander ahead 2-0 after scoring at 5:26 in the second period. But the goal advantage wouldn't last long as the Red Raiders scored at 13:04. Bennet Dale scored to pulled Sheboygan within one, but proved to be their only goal despite both teams recording 11 shots in the second period.
Rhinelander would add a pair of insurance goals in the third period to secure the three-goal victory. Wisner scored on a powerplay at 7:09 on an assist fro Laggis. And Zuiker added his second power-play goal at 10:29 on an assist from Laggis and Wojtusik.
Stafford would finish with 27 saves for the Hodags. And Rhinelander held a slight 30-28 edge on total shots. RHS advanced to 8-4-0 overall this season and will be back in action on Thursday when they travel to Stevens Point to take on Pacelli.
The Rhinlander High School boys' hockey team cruised to a 6-3 victory on Thursday night in a Great Northern Conference match at the Rhinelander Ice Arena. Sophomore Harlan Wojtusik would record a hat-trick including two short-handed goals all coming in the second period, as the Hodags improved to 5-1-0 on the season.
Athough Rhinelander held an 18-10 advantage on shots in the first period, Mosinee scored first on a powerplay from junior Benjamin Lardinois at 7:53. Fellow junior Trey Fitzgerald was credited with the assist on a goal that would short-lived.
Only 10 seconds after the Indians scored, sophomore Conor Pequet answered and would even the score out 1-1 on an assist from Wojotusik. But the difference on the night proved to be the second period.
At 2:22 Wojotusik scored to give the Hodags a one-goal advantage on an assist from Pequet and junior Abe Laggis. But once again the Indians had an answer and would tie the game up 2-2 at 9:44 on a goal from Gunner Colbert.
Mosinee had a chance to take the lead after Pequet was called for tripping and the Hodags were down a player, but that is when Wojtusik took off. He scored at 11:50 on an assist from senior Sam Tjugum. Wojtusik would score just 40 seconds later on another short-handed goal to give RHS a 4-2 lead, which would prove to be enough to secure the win down the stretch.
The Indians didn't waste anytime and score just 17 seconds into the third period. Junior Max Beste scored to pull Mosinee back within one-goal, but that would be there final goal of the night.
Rhinelander restored their two-goal advantage at 4:41 when senior Freddy Wisner found the back of the net on a deflected shot from fellow senior Alex Hedberg. And Conor Pequet was score the Hodags’ final goal at with only 56 seconds left in the game on a 2-on-1 empty net on an assist from Laggis and Tjugum.
The Hodags held a 44-26 advantage on shots on the night and junior goalie Seth Stafford would record 23 saves in the win. RHS was also penalized eight times for 16 minutes while Mosinee finished with three penalties for six minutes. RHS did not convert on their one powerplay of the night while the Indians were 2-of-6 on powerplays on the night.
Rhinelander will be back in action tomorrow after noon for a non-conference contest against Wisconsin Rapids. Faceoff is set for 4:00PM at the Rhinelander Ice Arena.
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