The Rhinelander High School boys' hockey team was able to cruise past De Pere and earn a 2-1 on Tuesday night at the Rhinelander Ice Arena. Cole Spaulding and Harlan Wojtusik each charted second period goals, as the Hodags advanced to 2-0 this season.
It was rocky start for the Hodags as De Pere would control most of the opening period. The Voyageurs would score at the seven-minute mark on a goal from sophomore Grant Tritabaugh. De Pere would take a 1-0 advantage and would prove to be their lone goal of the night that was assisted by senior Matej Soukup and sophomore Mason Paul. The Voyageurs also held an 8-5 advantage on shots in the first period as well.
But Rhinelander would turn the tables in the second period and was able to score the equalizer on a powerplay at 6:29. Tritabaugh was called for a checking behind major, and senior Cole Spaulding was able to score with only four seconds left of the powerplay to even the score 1-1. Juniors Freddy Wisner and Brandon Kolasa assisted Spaulding on the Hodags' first goal of the night.
And what would end up being the winning goal of the night, freshman Harlan Wojotusik charted his first varsity career goal at 8:25 in the second. RHS would take a 2-1 lead, and would outshoot the Voyageurs 8-6 in the second period.
In the final period, both the Hodags and De Pere recorded four shots each. Rhinelander was able to hold off a late push from the Voyageurs who pulled sophomore goalie Jay Wenger for the final two minutes of the game.
Rhinelander sophomore goalie Seth Stafford would earn the win and charted 17 saves including a notable stop with about 12 seconds remaining. On the night, De Pere outshot RHS 18-17.
The Hodags will get back on the ice on Saturday when they open their Great Northern Conference schedule on the road at Waupaca. Rhinelander will look to start off their conference season strong in hopes of advancing to 3-0 to start the year.